This year we are particularly thankful for Oregon’s decades-old mail-in voting system. States around the country have scrambled to adjust their traditional systems in response to the dangers and limitations posed by in-person voting.
Yesterday in Mississippi, plaintiffs and civil rights groups that challenged the state’s burdensome absentee ballot requirements celebrated new protections put in place for absentee voters. In the Parham v. Watson litigation, plaintiffs had challenged (until they voluntarily dismissed the case) Mississippi’s previous policy in which the state did not notify voters if there was a signature match issue, and an individual’s otherwise completed and valid absentee ballot was rejected without any opportunity for the voter to fix it.
As of this week, the state implemented a new “notice and cure process” for signature match issues on absentee ballots—giving voters a chance to fix signature match issues. Additionally, voters who may have been exposed to COVID-19 are also now eligible to vote curbside. Mississippi still requires absentee ballot applications to be notarized and that most people provide an excuse to vote absentee, such as being out of town on Election Day.
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