Justice Department defends Alabama absentee ballot rule

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Justice Department is defending Alabama’s requirement to have witnesses sign an absentee ballot. The Justice Department filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit challenging election procedures.

The Justice Department said the witness signature requirement is not a violation of the Voting Rights Act. Alabama absentee voters are currently required to submit photocopies of their photo identification and sign the absentee ballot before a notary or two witnesses.

The lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program asks a federal judge to waive those mandates and force the state to offer curbside voting.

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