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This week in COVID-19 voting news

What it means for access to the ballot box during the pandemic
For Immediate Release

National

With less than a month until Election Day, and millions of ballots already cast, time has mostly run out for any changes to elections processes. Nonetheless, across the country, many election law cases are still in various stages of litigation. The decisions, many of which could end up in the Supreme Court, potentially have significant ramifications for people’s ability to vote safely this fall. 

In the event that people are unable or unwilling to vote remotely, people will need to undertake precautionary measures to protect their health and the health of their community. To make that easier, public health and elections experts have put together a set of guidelines for healthy in-person voting

Arizona

On Monday, a judge extended Arizona’s voter registration deadline by two and a half weeks. The deadline had been Oct. 5. The Republican National Committee has appealed the ruling. 

Florida

Florida’s voter registration deadline was Monday. The state’s online voter registration system also crashed that day. Despite the crash, a federal judge denied an appeal to extend the deadline

To help ensure safe in-person voting, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition will be handing out one million masks at polling places in the state. 

Idaho

Ada County will have a specific polling place for COVID-positive voters to cast their ballots this fall. While novel, all Idaho voters can also vote absentee, which would be a safer option.

Montana

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to block Montana’s expansion of mail-in voting. The decision means that Montana counties will still be able to conduct all mail-in elections if they choose to do so.

Wisconsin

Even as voting has already begun, the deadline for returning absentee ballots continues to be in flux. Last week, a judge extended the deadline to Nov.  8.  This week, a federal appeals court blocked that extension. The next step in the case would be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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U.S. PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.