Alabama AG to appeal curbside voting decision

Alabama AG to appeal curbside voting decision
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a judge’s order that would have lifted witness and photo ID requirements for absentee voting in Alabama. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says the state will appeal an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upholds a lower court order allowing curbside voting in the Nov. 3 general election in Alabama.

The appeals court blocked a previous order that lifted witness and photo ID requirements for certain absentee voters in Alabama. The appeals court’s ruling also keeps an order that allows counties to offer curbside voting.

Marshall wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision to keep curbside voting.

“While we welcome the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to grant the State’s emergency stay request so that Alabama’s absentee voting law requirements of a valid photo ID and witnesses remain in effect for the November 3 general election, the appeals court’s decision to allow curbside voting conflicts with State efforts to ensure election security," Marshall said in a statement. “We will therefore seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as possible.”

“Alabama has a history of voter fraud that the photo ID and witness requirements help address,” Marshall said. “Those safeguards are both important and easily complied with, even during the pandemic. Alabama has the right and the duty to ensure that our elections are conducted with integrity, and Alabama voters deserve to know they can cast their ballots with confidence that election security safeguards will remain in place.”

Alabama law requires most categories of voters who apply for an absentee ballot to submit a copy of their photo ID and have two witnesses or a notary sign the envelope for a voter to submit an absentee ballot. A federal district court ruled in late September that voters did not require a witness or notary to vote by mail if they have an underlying medical condition and provide a statement.

Marshall said the Sept. 30 ruling prohibited local election officials from enforcing “anti-fraud provisions,” including prohibiting curbside voting.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill previously banned curbside voting before the federal and appeals courts rulings.

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