One of the many attempts by the Republican Party to block or complicate the mail-in voting process ahead of the general election on Nov. 3 has been shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court opted Thursday not to intervene after the state eased a mail-in voting rule that required such ballots to be signed by two witnesses or a notary.

The challenge was brought against this ruling by the Republican National Committee, which wanted the previous witness rulings to be upheld for the coming elections in September and November.

The requirement was first done away with by Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, for the state’s primary election on June 2, because of the considerable concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. While a bill to extend the measures to further 2020 elections could not be reached by the Rhode Island Legislature, officials issued a consent decree in which they promised not to enforce the witness requirement for the state primaries in September and the general election in November.

Republicans had argued that the pandemic would not prevent citizens from getting witness signatures and that Rhode Island has a history of mail-in voting fraud. That's a consistent claim by the GOP and has been disproven many times. Voter fraud is not any more prevalent through mail-in than through traditional means and is, overall, not a terribly widespread problem.

The court’s order was unsigned, but Justice Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch have said that they would have supported the GOP’s challenge in a vote.

The Republican Party has made mail-in voting a major target heading into the 2020 general election. While citing disproven voter fraud concerns, the campaign falls in line with years of GOP policies aimed at voting more difficult and cumbersome, for blue states in particular. This has included expanded voter ID laws and the closure of many polling stations, the latter of which causes the stations that remain to become backed up for hours.

Recently, President Donald Trump has moved to block billions in emergency funds for the U.S. Postal Service, explicitly stating on Thursday that it was to prevent the agency from being able to handle universal mail-in voting.

“Now, they need that money in order to make the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.”

The current members of the US Supreme Court pose for a group photo with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the bottom left
The current members of the US Supreme Court pose for a group photo with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the bottom left GETTY IMAGES / ALEX WONG