A divided panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s law limiting automatic eligibility to cast an absentee ballot to voters aged 65 and older does not violate the Constitution.

“A law that makes it easier for others to vote does not abridge any person’s right to vote for purposes of the 26th Amendment,” wrote Judge Leslie Southwick for the majority. In a dissent, Judge Carl Stevens said younger voters’ rights were indeed abridged by being given fewer options to cast their ballot.

The ruling voided U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s injunction – itself stayed during the appeal – that would have given every Texas voter the right to cast an absentee ballot during the pandemic.

The case will be sent back to Biery’s courtroom to address other issues.

SD30 special: Early voting begins Monday for the September 29 special election to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper).

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