AUSTIN, Texas - Voting rights group “MOVE Texas” has launched an emergency telemedicine hotline, to make it easier for ill Texans to obtain an emergency ballot.
“Right now is a special time. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Travis County alone has over 100 people per day that is contracting COVID.” said H Drew Galloway, executive director of MOVE Texas.
The non-profit launched the hotline after the vote-by-mail application deadline. In order to obtain an emergency ballot, sick Texans need a signature from a physician, chiropractor, or Christian science practitioner.
“This was disenfranchising especially young voters and lower-income voters across the state,” said Galloway.
The telemedicine hotline is free for those who call. It has about 20 doctors actively volunteering their time. They meet with patients remotely “to determine if they qualify for the signature on the emergency ballot and if so, to sign that digitally.” explained Galloway.
The telemedicine hotline was a backup plan for MOVE Texas.
Weeks ago they filed a lawsuit in Travis County looking to overturn the signature requirement for emergency ballots. “We saw this as a burdensome task for voters to have to undergo especially in the middle of a pandemic.”
Travis County agreed, but the Texas Third Court of Appeals overrode that district court ruling, writing that the move would “inject confusion into the ongoing voting process.” They have agreed to hear the case after the election.