A federal judge has barred enforcement of Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) order limiting counties to providing a single location for voters to drop off absentee ballots in person. That ruling was promptly stayed by an appellate court.
“By limiting ballot return centers to one per county, older and disabled voters living in Texas’s largest and most populous counties must travel further distances to more crowded ballot return centers,” ruled U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman. “By forcing absentee voters to risk infection with a deadly disease to return their ballots in person or disenfranchisement if the [U.S. Postal Service] is unable to deliver their ballots in time, [Abbott’s] October 1 order imposes a burden on an already vulnerable voting population.”
Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a temporary stay.
“The district court’s order undermines our election security, disrupts the democratic process and will only lead to voter confusion,” Paxton said in a statement. “Mail-in ballots are particularly vulnerable to fraud. Protections that ensure their security must be upheld.”
Current law permits voters to drop off absentee ballots in person only on Election Day. In July, Abbott ordered counties to accept absentee ballots in person for nearly 40 additional days. His order did not specify or limit the locations counties could designate as drop-off locations.
SD30 special (Safe Republican): Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered a December 19 runoff election to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper). Early voting beings December 9. Pilot Point salon owner Shelley Luther faces Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) after both received 32% of the vote in the September 29 special election.
Early voting for the November 3 general election begins Tuesday, six days earlier than usual per an order from Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
SD11 (Likely Republican): The Houston Chronicle endorsed Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood).
HD130 (Safe Republican): The Houston Chronicle endorsed Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress).
HD146 (Safe Democratic): The Houston Chronicle endorsed Rep. Shawn Thierry (D-Houston).
HD149 (Safe Democratic): The Houston Chronicle endorsed Rep. Hubert Vo (D-Houston).
SEN (Lean Republican): The San Antonio Express-News endorsed U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R). The Austin American-Statesman and Houston Chronicle endorsed Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar.
CD4 open (Safe Republican): The Dallas Morning News endorsed Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper).
CD10 (Toss Up): The Austin American-Statesman endorsed U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin).
CD12 (Safe Republican): The Dallas Morning News endorsed U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth).
CD17 open (Likely Republican): The Austin American-Statesman endorsed Democratic nominee Rick Kennedy.
CD21 (Toss Up): The Austin American-Statesman endorsed Democratic challenger Wendy Davis over U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin).
CD24 open (Toss Up): The Dallas Morning News endorsed Republican nominee Beth Van Duyne.
CD25 (Lean Republican): The Austin American-Statesman endorsed Democratic challenger Julie Oliver over U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin).
CD35 (Safe Democratic): The Austin American-Statesman endorsed U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin).
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