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LWV of Alabama Files in Support of Case to Ease Absentee Ballot Requirements

League supports previous decision to waive photo ID, witness requirements and establish curbside voting
PHOTO: Your Vote Matters Sign, Photo Date: 9/25/18 (Source: League of Women Voters of CA LWVC / CC BY 2.0)
PHOTO: Your Vote Matters Sign, Photo Date: 9/25/18 (Source: League of Women Voters of CA LWVC / CC BY 2.0)(KMVT)
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 9:15 AM CDT
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ATLANTA, GA (Press Release) —Tuesday, the League of Women Voters of Alabama filed an amicus brief in People First of Alabama v. Merrill, which seeks to ease absentee ballot requirements and mandate curbside voting. A federal judge ruled in the case on September 30 that the state must waive the photo ID and witness requirement for absentee ballots and establish curbside voting for voters with disabilities. The decision was later appealed, and it is now pending in the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

“The League is proud to support the plaintiffs in this case, asking the court to eliminate ballot requirements that impede voters from exercising their rights,” said Barbara Caddell, president of the League of Women Voters of Alabama. “Alabama’s most vulnerable voters—senior citizens, those with disabilities, Black and Latinx voters—should not have to open themselves to health risks in order to cast their ballots. Furthermore, voters with disabilities must have an in-person voting option that keeps them safe, and curbside voting does just that.”

The League of Women Voters of Alabama filed a similar lawsuit in state court in May of this year, but the case was dismissed. The League joins People First of Alabama v. Merrill in support of People First of Alabama, Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, and individual plaintiffs Eric Peebles, Howard Porter, Jr, Annie Thompson, Teresa Bettis, and Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews.

“While Alabama voters are still dealing with a deadly pandemic, the state’s onerous absentee ballot requirements and lack of curbside voting options threaten to disenfranchise them,” said Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, president of the board of directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “It is disappointing to see the state fighting against these commonsense voter protections, particularly considering these unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic falling in a presidential election year.”

The League of Women Voters is represented by Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

“We are privileged to once against support the League of Women Voters in their historic mission of assisting voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Michael Keats, litigation partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. “Voters should not be required to choose between voting and their health. That is simply not our Constitutional bargain.”

The deadline for Alabamans to register for the November 3 election is October 19.

Read the amicus brief here.

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