Supreme Court Decision on Mail Ballots

We are disappointed in the Court’s 6-3 decision. We fear that this decision will create more, not less confusion this election year. In Alabama, a state law requiring witnesses for mail ballots is constitutional, but in another, Rhode Island, it is unconstitutional. Whether a state election law violates the U.S. Constitution now depends on the whims of your state’s election officials. The authority of state legislators in establishing election laws has been undermined.

We also fear that the Court’s decision will encourage Rhode Island officials to repeat the June presidential primary election fiasco in November. Not only will the witness requirement for mail ballots be waived but unsolicited mail ballot applications will be sent out to everyone, including voters who have moved or are dead. The June presidential primary election nearly overwhelmed the system. About 2,825 mail ballots were not counted and 36,281 mail ballots that were sent out have never been accounted for. The June election was inconsequential, but a chaotic November election will have serious consequences for public confidence in our election system.


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