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Judge Rules All Mississippians With Health Conditions Can Vote Absentee

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson met with a group of election commissioners in Washington County on Aug. 4. Photo courtesy Michael Watson.

All Mississippi voters with “underlying medical conditions placing them at risk of severe COVID-19 illness or death” will be allowed to vote absentee in November’s election, the American Civil Liberties Union announced after winning a court battle in a Hinds County court this evening.

Earlier, the Legislature allowed only for a “temporary physical disability” exemption, allowing voters under physician-imposed quarantine or caring for someone under a quarantine to vote absentee.

“Every Mississippi voter with underlying medical conditions placing them at risk of severe COVID-19 illness or death can vote absentee this election,” the ACLU announced in a tweet tonight. “The court should have gone further and ruled that ALL eligible voters following public health guidance have a right to vote by absentee ballot—but this remains an important victory.”

When the ACLU of Mississippi filed the lawsuit on Aug. 11, staff attorney Theresa Lee said “Mississippians should not have to risk exposure to a deadly virus in order to vote. The court can ensure that voters do not have to choose between their health and their vote.”

This is a developing story.

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