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Virginia sued over witness requirement for absentee ballots

The lawsuit seeks to block state election officials from asking absentee voters to find a witness to sign their ballots during the coronavirus outbreak.

RICHMOND, Va. — The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal court to block Virginia election officials from requiring that absentee voters find a witness to watch them sign their ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of three voters and the League of Women Voters. The lawsuit says the witness requirement could cause “massive disenfranchisement” of Virginia voters. 

Under state law, any voter who submits an absentee ballot by mail must open the envelope containing the ballot in front of another person, fill out the ballot and then ask the witness to sign the outside of the ballot envelope before it is mailed.

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