Via video hearing, SC court mulls absentee voting expansion

State News

The South Carolina Supreme Court met Tuesday, May 12, 2020, in Columbia, S.C., for its first- ever oral arguments via teleconference. The Court heard concerns over potential difficulties of voting in this year’s elections due to the coronavirus outbreak, as social distancing recommendations remain in place. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court has heard arguments concerning the difficulties of voting in this year’s elections due to the coronavirus outbreak in its first-ever oral argument held via teleconference.

Last month, two lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts asking judges to require South Carolina to relax rules on absentee voting for the June 9 statewide primaries.

Absentee voters currently must fall under certain requirements such as being disabled, unable to get to the polls because of work, out of state or over age 65. Ballots also must be signed by a witness.

The lawsuits said absentee rules don’t include isolating from a pandemic, which also could be a problem with the witness requirement.

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