Witness signature required on S.C. absentee ballots in 2020 election after appeal

Witness signature required on S.C. absentee ballots in 2020 election after appeal
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals says South Carolina voters must have a witness signature on their absentee ballots for the 2020 general election.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTV) - The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals says South Carolina voters must have a witness signature on their absentee ballots for the 2020 general election.

Residents voting absentee by mail must now have their signatures on ballot return envelopes witnessed.

The General Assembly had recently passed an expansion of absentee voting that will allow any South Carolinian to vote absentee citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

A federal lawsuit was filed asking for the required witness signature on an absentee ballot to be waived due to coronavirus concerns.

U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs decided to waive the requirement for the November election.

But Republican lawmakers and the South Carolina State Election Commission filed an appeal to that decision. Republicans cited concerns over election security as the reason they wanted the signature requirement to remain in place.

The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order reversing the lower court’s ruling.

Officials say the South Carolina State Election Commission will continue to the notify the public of any changes to the witness requirement at scvotes.gov.

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