Newsweek: Texas AG Appeals Court Ruling Rejecting Governor’s Limits on Absentee Ballot Drop-Off Sites
Newsweek: Texas AG Appeals Court Ruling Rejecting Governor's Limits on Absentee Ballot Drop-Off Sites
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he will appeal a state court ruling rejecting Governor Greg Abbott’s recent order on absentee ballot drop-off sites.
“I disagree with the district court’s order and my office has filed a notice of appeal which stays the trial court’s order,” Paxton said, after a court blocked Abbott from limiting the number of mail-in ballot drop-off boxes in each county.
The Republican attorney general is known to be a frequent champion of conservative lawsuits, and was recently accused of bribery and abuse of office by seven of his top aides.
On Thursday, Travis County District Judge Tim Sulak issued an injunction blocking Abbott from only allowing each county in Texas, regardless of population size, to have one drop-off location for mail-in ballots. Abbot’s order, which was to go into effect on October 1, forced larger counties such as Harris County to remove up to 11 drop-off boxes.
Many called Abbott’s proclamation a form of voter suppression, especially because the governor announced the changes with less than a month until Election Day and amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling was praised by several democracy advocates, including non-partisan watchdog group Common Cause.
“Today’s ruling is a relief to many Texans who qualify to vote absentee,” Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, said. “Most of these voters have disabilities and are elderly. With only one ballot return site per county, these voters would have faced challenges in travel that might have made it impossible for them to vote.”