Aug 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court won't block Rhode Island's eased absentee voting rules

 sign that says absentee ballots available
Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Thursday that it will not block Rhode Island's move to ease its requirements for absentee voting during November's election.

Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

  • Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

The backdrop: Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo's state government waived a requirement that absentee voters must sign their ballots in the presence of either two witnesses or one notary.

  • Republicans argued that the coronavirus pandemic would not prevent voters from getting the required signatures.
  • The court said that the fact that "no state official has expressed opposition" to the change invalidated the GOP's challenge.
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