Even if it weren’t for her disability and fear of catching COVID-19, Delinda Bryant said getting the necessary postage to cast a ballot this year will be a struggle. Bryant, 63, doesn’t have $10 for a book of stamps, a printer to make them at home or a working car. “My car needs its transmission fixed, but my utilities are so high I can´t afford it,” the south Georgia woman said in testimony for a federal voting rights lawsuit. “Ten dollars for a book of stamps is a hardship.”As more states embrace mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, the often overlooked detail of postage has emerged as a partisan dividing line. Questions over whether postage will be required for absentee ballot applications and the actual ballots, who pays for it and what happens to envelopes without stamps are the subject of lawsuits and statehouse political brawls.Lawsuits filed in Florida by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, in Georgia by Black Voters Matter and elsewhere argue that stamps constitute a monetary requirement akin to an illegal poll tax. Voting-rights groups say stamp requirements are another impediment that hits lower-income and minority communities hardest. “Charging money for the right to vote is unconstitutional, whether it´s a penny or a dollar,” said Sean Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia, which is representing Black Voters Matter. “Many voters lack internet access. Many voters lack a credit card, which is required to buy stamps online. One voter did not receive his book of stamps for two weeks after he ordered it.”The postage debate has become vehement in Ohio, where the state elections chief, a Republican, has asked for the authority to pre-pay postage on absentee ballot applications and the ballots themselves. So far, the GOP-led Legislature has resisted. Opponents of the proposal by Secretary of State Frank LaRose argue that pre-paying postage could lead to more mail-in ballots being requested than used. Voters who requested a mail-in ballot but for whatever reason – choose to vote in person on Election Day will have to cast a provisional ballot so local election boards can be sure they did not vote twice. About 20% of provisional ballots are typically rejected.During floor debate in June, state Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, said it’s also an added expense in a year the virus has ravaged government budgets. It would cost the state $1.5 million on top of the $1.5 million Ohio already is paying to mail ballot applications for November’s presidential election.“So it would be expensive at a time when we´re facing economic depression, economic problems throughout the state,” he said. “And this is not the time to be needlessly spending money.” Democrats and voting-rights advocates disagree.“We always hear the same rhetoric,” said Aklima Khondoker, Georgia state director of All Voting is Local. “It´s too expensive, it´s going to lead to fraud, it´s an administration issue.’ No, it’s not. It’s racism.”She said postage requirements disproportionately affect people of color, who are less likely to have the income, transportation or time to obtain stamps.The postage debate has extended this year to include young voters, who have little experience sending and receiving paper mail and visiting post offices. As part of its lawsuit, the Georgia ACLU submitted statements from young voters who had never used a stamp.Another complication with requiring stamps is knowing how much postage to use.Election boards are required by federal postal regulations to include in a voter’s packet exactly how much postage is required to return their ballot. Some states, however, require a copy of a valid ID, verification of college enrollment status or notary documentation, and that can add an unknown amount of weight to the ballot, which requires more postage.