(ConservativePeak.com)- Harris County in Texas will not be able to send applications for mail-in ballots to more than 2 million potential voters, at least for now.
The state Supreme Court blocked the county’s efforts while litigation over the matter continues.
The county wants to send mail-in applications to all voters, while Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general, has argued that the applications should only go to those voters who qualify to vote by mail in Texas.
Thus far, the county, which includes the city of Houston, has already sent mail-in applications to voters who are 65 years old and older. In a tweet, Chris Hollins, the county clerk, said:
“Fortunately, all vote-by-mail applications have already been delivered to Harris County voters aged 65 and above. My office is prepared to send applications and educational materials to remaining registered voters at the conclusion of this baseless litigation.”
In a statement, Paxton said:
“I strongly commend the Texas Supreme Court for stopping the Harris County Clerk from sending millions of mail-in ballot applications, which would create voter confusion and jeopardize the integrity and security of our elections.
“The Harris County Clerk knowingly chose to violate Texas election law and undermine election security. I thank the court for preventing the clerk from proceeding with his unlawful plans while this case continues.”
Originally, a lower court in Texas sided with Democrats. It ruled Texas’ current election law discriminated illegally against younger voters in the state by requiring anyone under the age of 65 to provide a reason for why they wanted an absentee ballot.
Last Thursday, though, a federal appeals court overturned that ruling. It said Texas could continue to require an excuse from people younger than 65 who want a mail-in ballot. People older than 65 could still get an absentee ballot without an excuse.
Democrats in Texas had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite its case, but the high court denied that request. This means that it’s possible, if not likely, that nothing will be settled before November’s presidential election. If that is the case, then Texas Democrats will just have to live with the fact that they have to follow current election law.
Earlier this year, Harris County announced it was planning to deliver mail-in applications to all registered voters. It is the most populous county in Texas, with 2.4 million registered voters, and the city of Houston is highly liberal. Therefore, the outcome of this litigation could have wide-sweeping effects on November’s General Election.
This week’s ruling was crucial for Paxton and Republicans. An agreement between Paxton and the county that paused application mailings until five days after the district judge’s ruling was set to expire this Thursday.
This fight over mail-in voting isn’t just relegated to Texas, of course. It’s an ongoing battle that many parts of the country are waging. Democratic leaders are pushing for expanded mail-in voting options during the coronavirus pandemic, while Republican leaders warn against the security dangers of doing so.