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Court: Witness signature not required on South Carolina absentee ballots in June

US District Court ruling covers June primary and resulting runoff elections for those voting absentee by mail

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The United States District Court has handed down an order that allows South Carolinians voting absentee by mail in the June 2020 primary election to vote without having a witness signature on the ballot return envelope.

Voters will still be required to sign and date the voter's oath on the return envelope, but the “Signature of Witness” and “Address of Witness” spaces can be left blank.

RELATED: All South Carolinians can now vote absentee in mext month's election

Election officials will accept and count all absentee ballots regardless of whether the envelope contains a witness signature, if otherwise valid. Any ballots that may have already been returned without a witness signature will also be counted if otherwise valid.

The order applies only to the June 9, 2020, primary election and any resulting June 23, 2020, runoff elections.

Gov. Henry McMaster had proposed absentee voting by mail for June so that potential voters could exercise their right and stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

RELATED: How you can vote absentee