However, the court stated that ballot papers cast prior to its action and received within two days of the decision cannot be rejected for failure to comply with the testimony. Judges Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they did not count these ballots.
“This is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will be cautious of federal changes near the elections, even if they are made to cope with the burdens on voters caused by the pandemic,” said electoral law expert Rick Hasen, who serves as CNN Suffrage Analyst
South Carolina law requires voters who cast postal ballots to swear an oath that they are eligible to vote and that they will not receive voting assistance if they seal and sign their ballots, and that the oath is witnessed by another person which must be signed under the signature of the voter.
Democrats challenged the provision, arguing that due to the coronavirus outbreak, there is “overwhelming and undisputed evidence that the witness requirement, as applied during the pandemic, increases the risk of infection and transmission of Covid-19 and increases the right to vote unconstitutionally charged “. A lower court blocked the request.
Republicans argued before the Supreme Court that more than 150,000 postal ballot papers “have been sent out and each day increases the risk that ballot papers will be returned that, in erroneous dependence on the district court order, do not meet witness requirements.”
They said, “While COVID-19 may make a face-to-face vote less desirable, the courts cannot make decisions for individuals to stay home for their own safety against the state.”
He said the lower court “contradicted this principle”.