Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama

Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama
The U.S. Supreme Court has granted the state's emergency request to stay a federal district court’s order that had lifted the state’s ban on curbside voting. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says the U.S. Supreme Court has granted the state of Alabama’s emergency request to stay a federal district court’s order that had lifted the state’s ban on curbside voting.

The previous order from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had blocked a previous order that lifted witness and photo ID requirements for certain absentee voters in Alabama. This order kept the allowance for counties to offer curbside voting.

Marshall appealed this order, saying “curbside voting conflicts with State efforts to ensure election security.”

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has again acted quickly to grant the State’s emergency stay request to clarify that Alabama’s laws will govern Alabama’s upcoming election,” Marshall said. “While our election laws are easily complied with, even during this pandemic, they ensure that Alabama voters can have confidence that they are voting in a fair election. The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for Alabama’s election integrity and thus for Alabama voters.”

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has also argued against curbside voting, effectively banning it in the state. He also appealed a federal court that loosened the photo ID and witness requirements for absentee ballots.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ order earlier this month upheld those photo ID and witness requirements, which Marshall agreed with. It was the curbside voting allowance in that order that Marshall appealed and won.

“As we argued in our stay request to the Supreme Court, Alabama has taken extraordinary measures to ensure that all voters can vote safely, while also ensuring that this election is conducted fairly, efficiently, and free from fraud,” Marshall said. “But Alabama law does not and has never provided for curbside voting. The district court’s decision to create it for the State was contrary to state and federal law.”

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