RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says a federal court has approved a consent decree negotiated by his office that promotes safe absentee voting in November’s general election. In a news release from his office, Herring said that under the consent decree, Virginia will accept absentee ballots without the signature of a witness “for voters who believe they may not safely have a witness present while completing their ballot.” A group of voters sued Virginia election officials in May over a loosening of restrictions on absentee ballots for the June primary, arguing that the state can’t allow voters to use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to vote by mail.