High court: Rhode Island mail-in voters don’t need witness

Common Cause RI Executive Director John Marion. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court is leaving in place an agreement that allows Rhode Island residents to vote by mail in two upcoming elections without signing their ballots in the presence of two witnesses or a notary.

State officials had agreed to suspend the requirement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They have said that fulfilling the requirement results in close contact between voters and others, which could expose voters to the virus.

The high court on Thursday rejected an effort by the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Rhode Island to put the agreement on hold, noting that “no state official has expressed opposition.”

“It was huge,” John Marion, Executive Director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, the organization named as plaintiff in the Supreme Court case told WPRO News.

“We have thousands of Common Cause members around the state, many of whom are older and vulnerable to COVID and this is a great victory for all those members.”

The case is: REPUBLICAN NAT. COMM., ET AL. V. COMMON CAUSE RI, ET AL.

 

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