Lawyers: No state-level fix for SC ballots missing signature

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Voters wait in line outside the Richland County election office on the first day of in-person absentee voting in South Carolina on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. A number of counties have polling places where people can vote almost like they would in person on Election Day, instead of having to mail in their absentee ballot. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Attorneys told members of South Carolina’s election commission that the state has no authority to create a process to fix mail-in ballots missing a witness signature.

The State Election Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to inform the county elections officials, who send out and collect the ballots, of the legal advice.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week put the witness signature requirement back in place for the Nov. 3 election, overturning an appeals court saying the signature wasn’t necessary because of the dangers in the pandemic.

Anyone who can sign their name and write down their address on a voter’s ballot envelope can serve as a witness.

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