Texas Gov. Blocked from Eliminating Ballot Drop-Off Sites, Following CLC Suit
AUSTIN, TX – Late Friday, a federal court has blocked an attempt by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to dramatically limit options for Texas voters seeking to hand-deliver their completed absentee ballots for this fall’s election. Campaign Legal Center Action (CLCA) and partners successfully demonstrated the difficulty faced by voters, particularly in the state’s largest counties, who were seeking a safe and convenient way to drop off their ballot that would avoid unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
“The court was right to side with voters,” said Paul Smith, vice president at Campaign Legal Center Action (CLCA). “The state of Texas has gone to extraordinary lengths to make it harder for its citizens to vote, and deserved the reprimand given to it by a federal court. Rather than forcing Texans to risk their safety to vote, the state should be giving voters a variety of options to exercise their right.”
“LULAC today has prevailed on behalf of 5.6 million Hispanic voters and every other person who should have the lawful right to drop off their mail-in ballot with no unreasonable barriers created to discourage them from voting,” said Domingo Garcia, national president at LULAC. “Governor Greg Abbott is trying to prey on the fear of the pandemic which will keep Hispanics from wanting to risk their lives by going to the polls in person. Instead, they and many other qualified, legal voters prefer to safeguard their well-being by dropping off their ballot at authorized locations near them and today’s injunction guarantees they will be able to do so.”
On the same day Abbott announced that each of Texas’s 254 counties can only have one absentee drop off location, CLCA and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Texas. CLCA Legal Counsel Molly Danahy gave arguments on behalf of Texas voters on October 8. The state has filed an appeal of the decision with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.