Will Voters Be Able To Use COVID-19 As An “Excuse” To Get An Absentee Ballot This Fall?

Medium,  April 9, 2020

On most absentee ballot applications in states that require an excuse, you just check a box for “illness or disability”; you do not have to say precisely what the illness or disability is, although you do have to swear under penalty of law that you’re not lying. ...

[W]hile we hope most states will allow COVID-19 related “excuses”, maybe some won’t. And even then, those types of decisions — either way — will probably have to withstand court challenges before they can be fully implemented, which would potentially leave boards of elections hamstrung for extended periods of time, or forced to turn on a dime on or near or even after Election Day.

So unfortunately — as the “preview” this week in Wisconsin has shown us — a lot of whether people can turn in their votes by mail, or not, in some probably very key places, is going to be dictated by politics, and the courts, not reasonableness.

By Eric J. Scholl

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