Judge Forcing Mail-in Voting in Texas In Coronavirus Court Case Ruling
A federal judge is mandating that Texas provide a mail-in ballot option for every voter in the state, citing the threat of the coronavirus pandemic to radically expand the electoral practice. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is vowing to appeal U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s ruling, which came in response to a suit filed by the Texas Democratic Party.
Election integrity advocates have warned of the use of pervasive, novel mail-in voting programs, arguing that the introduction of such a nationwide practice would represent a nightmare scenario for voter fraud.
Biery’s ruling, which was issued Tuesday, requires the state to make a mail-in ballot available to anyone who “seeks to vote by mail to avoid transmission of the virus.” Currently, mail-in voting in Texas is largely limited to those 65 or older or those with a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents voting in person, in effect making the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in the state already eligible for mail-in voting.
Attorney General Paxton was quick to announce his appeal of the ruling, stating that the mandated mail-in voting “ignores the evidence and disregards well-established law.” Biery claims that other state’s mail-in-voting programs are free of fraud and abuse(despite prolific evidence for the widespread practice of ballot harvesting), although it’s hard to imagine how mail-in voting is going to be implemented in secure fashion when forced upon state and county officials by a single judge.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has confirmed that he expects the mail-in ballot lawsuit to end up at the Supreme Court. “Here’s the important deal, and that is we want people to vote based upon our current laws,” he said in response to the ruling. “We want them to be able to vote safely, and we want to do so in the way that does the most to reduce any potential fraud.”