High court reinstates S. Carolina ballot witness requirement

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday reinstated a requirement that South Carolina residents voting by mail in November’s election get a witness to sign their ballots.

Democrats had sought to have the requirement put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Republicans had defended it as deterring fraud.

While the high court reinstated the requirement as a lawsuit over it proceeds, voters have already started returning ballots. More than 200,000 absentee ballots have been mailed and 18,000 returned, according to the state’s election commission.

The court said that any ballots cast before the court’s action Monday evening “and received within two days of this order may not be rejected for failing to comply with the witness requirement.“

State Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick cheered the decision. “Despite the Democrats’ efforts to hijack a pandemic and use it to meddle with our election laws, they’ve lost,” he said in

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Czech PM’s party wins big in regional ballot amid pandemic

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – The senior party in the Czech Republic’s coalition government dominated the country’s regional elections and is ahead in the first round of voting for Parliament’s upper house, according to results released Saturday.

The Czech Statistics Office said that with ballots from almost 100% of polling stations counted, the ANO (YES) movement led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis won 10 of the 13 regions contested during voting on Friday and Saturday.

The result was a sign of a stable support for ANO, which won nine regions in 2016.

“It’s an excellent result,” Babis said.

ANO also has the most candidates advancing to the runoffs for 27 seats in the 81-seat Senate. The top two finishers in each district will face each other in a head-to-head vote next weekend.

With ballots from 99% of stations counted, ANO had nine candidates advancing to the runoffs.

The elections were the

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