Court Battles

South Carolina Republicans ask Supreme Court to reinstate witness requirement for mail-in ballots

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South Carolina Republicans are asking the Supreme Court to reinstate witness signature requirements for mail-in ballots after an appellate court ruling upheld a federal judge’s decision to waive the requirement for the Nov. 3 election amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

South Carolina Democrats brought a lawsuit over the requirement, highlighting concerns about voter participation due to the coronavirus, The State reported

U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs, in an order on Sept. 18, had waived the voter witness signature for this election. However, the decision was appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. 

There, the appellate court last week reinstated the ruling by Childs that would allow voters in the state who vote absentee to do so without a signature. 

The South Carolina GOP’s filing Thursday seeks to block Childs’s order. 

The filing to the high court comes just weeks ahead of Election Day, and as Senate Republicans are looking to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before November.

Last month, Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative, to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg died in late September. 

A Supreme Court ruling on the South Carolina case could set the tone for further calls for the justices to intervene in the upcoming election.

The South Carolina Republicans’ filing comes just days after Pennsylvania Republicans asked the Supreme Court to halt a state court order that extended the due date for mail ballots in the battleground state.

Tags Donald Trump Ruth Bader Ginsburg South Carolina

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