WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Supreme Court is leaving in place an agreement that allows Rhode Island residents to vote by mail in two upcoming elections without signing their ballots in the presence of two witnesses or a notary.

State officials had agreed to suspend the requirement because of the coronavirus pandemic. They have said that fulfilling the requirement results in close contact between voters and others, which could expose voters to the virus.

The high court on Thursday rejected an effort by the Republican National Committee and Republican Party of Rhode Island to put the agreement on hold, noting that “no state official has expressed opposition.”

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