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Coronavirus

Lawsuit Aims to Make Absentee Voting Easier in Mississippi during Pandemic

JACKSON, Miss. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi and the Mississippi Center for Justice filed a lawsuit over concerns about the state’s absentee voting law.

They filed suit against Secretary of State Michael Watson, who is the state’s top elections officer, and against circuit clerks in Hinds and Rankin counties.

The lawsuit asks a judge to issue a statewide declaration to allow absentee voting by people with health conditions that could put them in extra danger because of the virus. Mississippi only allows absentee voting for a few reasons. Plaintiffs include people who have had cancer or have other conditions, including lupus and asthma. The groups say the law is confusing and could be applied inconsistently during the coronavirus pandemic.

Legislators made a change that allows absentee voting by people quarantined with COVID-19 or caring for someone with the virus. The lawsuit says election officials could interpret the law differently in different places.

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