AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Democratic Party has filed a federal lawsuit for Texas to allow mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit names Gov. Greg Abbott, Secretary of State Ruth Hughes, the Travis County Clerk and the Bexar County Elections Administrator. The Texas Democratic Party contends that state law allows any voter to cast a mail-in ballot given the COVID-19 outbreak.
The lawsuit discusses how government-ordered social distancing will "probably be in effect for a number of weeks and, even after it is lifted, will in all likelihood be reimposed at additional intervals." The lawsuit also points out that most voters in Texas vote in person, but that "these very activities are now heavily discouraged by various government orders and are being discouraged in an enormous public education campaign."
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement on the lawsuit:
"As we face the worst public health crisis in a century, neither Governor Abbott nor Secretary of State Hughes have issued concrete guidance to county election officials on whether voters can cast a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans have opposed vote-by-mail without providing any credible justification. Current law allows any voter whose health may be injured by voting in person to vote by mail. As our city and county leaders issue shelter-in-place orders and our residents are urged to stay inside, we must protect Texans' ability to cast a ballot without jeopardizing their health or safety.
Texas Democrats will continue to protect our fundamental right to vote and the integrity of our elections. We must not allow the coronavirus outbreak to halt our democracy."
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