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COVID-related eligibility remains for Tennessee by-mail voting

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's eligibility to vote by mail continues to include those who are more susceptible to COVID-19, their caretakers and their housemates.

The pandemic-related eligibility emerged in a prolonged 2020 court battle. A trial court judge in June 2020 ruled in favor of a wide expansion of absentee voting during the pandemic.

The ruling was ultimately overturned by the state Supreme Court to revert to Tennessee’s excuse-based criteria, but only after the state changed course to promise to allow people at higher risk of COVID-19 complications and their caretakers to vote by mail.

The trial court judge expanded that to include housemates, ruling the state had included them in its promise to the Supreme Court.