AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas appeals court today ruled that a lower court order remains in effect recognizing that voters who do not have immunity from COVID-19 meet the standard for voting by mail under Texas law. It also blocked efforts by the state to prevent counties from allowing voters to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic while the case is being appealed.
The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, and Texas Civil Rights Project are seeking to declare that under Texas law all registered voters qualify to request a mail-in ballot as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
The following is reaction to the ruling:
Sophia Lakin, deputy director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project: “Attorney General Ken Paxton has repeatedly tried to make an end run around the trial court's ruling. This Court of Appeals' order makes clear that he, like anyone else, must comply with a court order. Texans shouldn't have to choose between their health and their vote.”
Tommy Buser-Clancy, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas: “The Court of Appeals has recognized the need to allow efforts to ensure Texans have the ability to vote by mail during this pandemic to proceed while the full appeal is heard. We appreciate the Court of Appeals’ realization that the attorney general’s attempts to override judicial decisions are improper, and directly impact voters who are trying to participate in our democracy without having to risk their health. Texans should not have to choose between their health and safety and the ability to exercise their right to vote.”