- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Supreme Court issued a ruling Wednesday that will allow Alabama to block communities that wanted to offer curbside voting, shooting down objections from some justices that disabled voters will now have to risk contracting the coronavirus if they want to vote in-person.

The 5-3 decision blocked a lower court’s injunction against the ban.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor led the three dissenters, saying that communities that were prepared to help disabled people vote without getting out of their vehicles should be allowed to do it, even if Alabama law doesn’t envision that.

She wrote that blocking curbside voting runs afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because those voters will have to suffer heightened risk during the pandemic.

They do have the option to vote an absentee ballot by mail, but Justice Sotomayor listed a number of hurdles such as having to show an ID and get a witness’s signature. She also pointed out that mail ballots might “arrive too late or be rejected for failure to comply” with requirements.

That was a striking evaluation of mail-in balloting, which many Democrats have argued is preferable to in-person voting during the pandemic.

Justice Sotomayor said voters should have the choice.

“Absentee and in-person voting are different benefits, and voters with disabilities are entitled to equal access to both,” she wrote.

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