Politics

Texas Supreme Court Puts Halt On Expansion Of Vote By Mail

By

From WWW.TEXASTRIBUNE.ORG

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday temporarily put on hold an expansion of voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Siding with Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Supreme Court blocked a state appeals court decision that allowed voters who lack immunity to the virus to qualify for absentee ballots by citing a disability. That appellate decision upheld a lower court’s order that would have allowed more people to qualify to vote by mail. The state’s Supreme Court has not weighed the merits of the case.

It’s the latest in an ongoing legal squabble that in the last three days has resulted in daily changes to who can qualify for a ballot they can fill out at home and mail in.

Federal and state courts are considering legal challenges to the state’s rules for voting by mail as Democrats and voting rights groups ask courts to clarify whether lack of immunity to the coronavirus is a valid reason for people to request absentee ballots. A resolution to that question is gaining more urgency every day as the state approaches the July primary runoff elections.

Paxton asked the Supreme Court to intervene the day after a state appeals court let stand a ruling from state District Judge Tim Sulak that susceptibility to the coronavirus counts as a disability under the state election code and is therefore a legally valid reason for voters to request absentee ballots.

The appeals court rebuffed Paxton’s efforts to block voters from requesting absentee ballots under those conditions while the case was making its way through the courts.

But the Supreme Court’s Fri… (Read more)