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Virginia judge waives witness requirement for absentee ballots

Posted at 6:55 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 23:39:24-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia voters who do not feel safe having a witness present while submitting an absentee ballot for the state's June primary will not be required to, according to Attorney General Mark R. Herring.

Herring announced on Tuesday that the measure, approved by U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon, hopes to promote public health and participation in elections by encouraging safe absentee voting by mail in the upcoming June 23 primaries.

Under the terms of the approved consent decree, the Commonwealth will accept absentee ballots without the signature of a witness “for voters who believe they may not safely have a witness present while completing their ballot.”

“This agreement is a win for Virginia voters and a win for democracy. No Virginian should ever have to put their own health and safety at risk to exercise their right to vote,” said Attorney General Herring. “Now, susceptible Virginians will not have to jeopardize their well-being and violate social distancing measures to cast their ballot by mail.”