Ala. counties not allowed to offer curbside voting

The Alabama secretary of state's office says as many as 150,000 people could vote absentee...
The Alabama secretary of state's office says as many as 150,000 people could vote absentee rather than go to precincts on Nov. 3.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 9:02 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama counties will not be allowed to provide curbside voting. This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s decision to lift Alabama’s ban on curbside voting.

Groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center said counties should be allowed to provide it for those concerned about going to the polls during the pandemic.

“For those vulnerable people in counties that have chosen to implement it, curbside voting should be allowed," said SPLC senior staff attorney Caren Short.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says those concerned about going to the polls can vote absentee.

“Simply being able to request an absentee ballot to follow the procedures that exist under our law, not only allow somebody to be safe, but also to make sure that their vote is heard," Marshall said.

The SPLC says Jefferson and Montgomery counties had been interested in offering curbside voting.

“There are voters with certain disabilities who cannot vote by absentee ballot need to vote in person. Some people can’t access the mail as easily as others,” Short said.

The Alabama secretary of state’s office said curbside voting is not in the law. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill plans to make sure there is a ban in place during the 2021 legislative session.

“If we look to the role of the judiciary, that should be to interpret the law not to make laws. And what we’ve seen with Judge Kallon is basically to graft a requirement onto the voting process in Alabama that is not contemplated under our law,” Marshall said.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.