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Texas attorney general appeals ruling that allows Harris County clerk to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters

Mail-in voting reliability
Mail-in voting reliability

HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an appeal to a ruling that allows the Harris County clerk to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters in the county.

In his ruling Friday, state District Court Judge R.K. Sandill rejected Paxton’s request for a temporary injunction to stop the clerk’s plan.

Paxton said the plan oversteps and that mail-in ballots are limited to a small number of qualified voters. Sending applications to all registered voters would sow confusion, Paxton said.

Susan Hays, who represented Harris County in the lawsuit that led to Sandill’s ruling, argued there is nothing wrong with the clerk wanting to do something extra.

Hollins has said he will include literature that lays out the law with every mail-in ballot application that is sent, so voters can decide for themselves if they qualify to request a mail-in ballot.

In Texas, voters can cast their ballot by mail if:

  • They will be away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period.
  • They are sick or disabled.
  • They will be 65 years of age or older on Election Day.
  • They are confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

Hollins has said the nature of the coronavirus pandemic means he must ensure voters who are sick can still vote.

Paxton’s appeal is asking a judge to decide on an injunction by 5 p.m. Monday.


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