AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court to order local officials to follow Texas election laws regarding mail-in ballots.
Paxton's petition is in response to a ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth Judicial District, which had reinstated a Travis County District Court order allowing anyone in Travis County to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order from the Travis County District Court instituted no-excuse vote-by-mail for the 2020 election cycle.
Those in support of the voting by mail order argue that anyone with a fear of contracting COVID-19 should be allowed to claim a “disability” and vote by mail.
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Paxton said in a press release that the special protections for voting by mail are intended to aid only those with true disabilities or sicknesses.
“Mail ballots based on disability are specifically reserved for those who are physically ill and cannot vote in-person as a result. Fear of contracting COVID-19 does not amount to a sickness or physical condition as required by the Legislature,” said Paxton. “The integrity of our democratic election process must be maintained, and law established by our Legislature must be followed consistently.”
Paxton issued a second statement on the subject, this one commending the Texas Supreme Court for staying a ruling by the Houston Court of Appeals that he says would have prevented state officials from enforcing state law regarding mail-in ballots.
“The Travis County trial court’s decision to allow everyone to vote by mail is contrary to state law and will be reversed on appeal," Paxton said. "I am pleased that today the Texas Supreme Court confirmed that my office may continue to prosecute voter fraud and issue guidance on mail-in ballots while that appeal plays out."
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's petition below:
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