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Federal judge rules that several voting changes must be made before the election

The changes apply to absentee voting, and were made to keep people at high risk for Coronavirus from being exposed, but there's some disagreement about how these changes could impact election results.

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 9:16 PM
Updated: Sep 30, 2020 11:21 PM

We are hearing from voters in North Alabama after a federal judge in Birmingham ruled that, because of Coronavirus, several voting regulations in Alabama must be changed before the November 3 general election. Some of the changes are being controversial.

Attorney General Steve Marshall announced today that the state will appeal the ruling. He sent WAAY 31 a statement saying, "Voting began weeks ago. And every Alabama voter is entitled to vote under the same laws, not new ones written by a federal court in the middle of voting.”

The amendment will be on the November 6th ballot.

The changes apply to absentee voting, and were made to keep people at high risk for Coronavirus from being exposed, but there's some disagreement about how these changes could impact election results.

"You don't have a say if you don't get out and vote," said voter, Daniel Cody.

Voting will look very different this presidential election.

The first change is absentee ballots from voters susceptible to Coronavirus do not have to be witnessed or signed by a notary or two adult witnesses.

"I am against that. I think that someone should have to sign that to show that they are who they say they are," said voter, Joann Huggins.

"I do think it would be a good thing for people who are trying to avoid being out," said Cody.

The second change is voters older than 65 or with underlying medical conditions do not have to provide a copy of their photo I.D. with their absentee ballot application, a change many people say I spoke to tonight say is not a good idea.

"I don't understand the reason for not providing their I.D. I don't see how it will provide any ease," said voter, Sheila Dyas.

"We are trying to make sure everybody is accounted for so removing that accountability seems like a step backwards," said Cody.

Joann and Jeff Huggins are poll workers in Madison County. They say after hearing these changes, they believe election results could be skewed.

"It could be that individuals could sign something and it not really be their vote," said Huggins.

There is one change that voters seem to approve of: curbside voting being allowed in any county.

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"It seems like a good easy alternative for people who are trying to stay distanced a little more," said Cody.

"If you have someone who works for the courthouse or the state of Alabama to go out and go to the car to get the ballot, then I don't have a problem with that," said Huggins.

Everyone WAAY 31 talked to on Wednesday said while they are still unsure about the changes, voting this year is more important than ever despite the pandemic. Absentee voting has already started, or you can vote in person on November 3.

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