Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) on Wednesday filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to stop election officials from allowing voters to request absentee ballots over fear of the coronavirus.
Texas law only allows mail-in voting for limited groups, and Paxton said citing fear of the coronavirus does not qualify as a reason for a mail ballot by the states requirements.
Each misapplication of Texas election law damages the integrity of our elections and increases the risk of voter fraud,” Paxton said in a statement. “In-person voting is the surest way to prevent voter fraud and guarantee that every voter is who they claim to be and has a fair opportunity to cast their vote.”
He condemned five Texas counties for encouraging voters to use mail-in voting by claiming disability on ballot applications.
Paxton argued that a voter ill with COVID-19 meets the requirements, but fear of contracting the potentially fatal virus does not qualify a voter to receive a ballot by mail.
He called out Dallas, Cameron, El Paso, Harris and Travis Counties in his filing. Paxton had previously warned counties not to enforce stricter coronavirus restrictions than the ones mandated by the state.
It is unfortunate that certain county election officials have refused to perform their duties and have instead unlawfully gone beyond the Legislatures determination of who is eligible to vote by mail,” Paxton added in his statement Wednesday. “My office will continue to defend the integrity of Texass election laws.”
Chad Dunn, general counsel for the Texas Democratic Party, said Paxton is trying to upset the election process after thousands of Texas voters requested mail-in ballots.
Apparently, none of the counties agree with Ken Paxtons view that everybody under age 65 has to vote in-person during a pandemic and the court shouldnt either. The Legislature provided for vote-by-mail in these pandemic circumstances, Dunn said in a written statement to The Washington Post.
Democrats have been pushing for expanded vote-by-mail efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic, but some Republicans and President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew York Times: Reporter who called for CDC chief’s resignation went ‘too far’GOP’s Don Bacon and challenger neck-and-neck in Democratic pollCheney defends Fauci: ‘We need his expertise’ to defeat coronavirusMORE have pushed back, claiming that doing so would add to potential voter fraud.
Five states Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington already conduct elections almost entirely by mail, and about two-thirds of states allow voters to request mail-in ballots without providing an excuse.