AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A federal judge has ordered Texas to allow any of the state’s 16 million voters to cast a ballot by mail over fears of the coronavirus.

The ruling Tuesday paves the way for what would be one of the most dramatic expansions of mail-in voting in the country.

READ MORE: Assistant Chief Of Police Operations Gary Tittle New Top Cop In Richardson

But it’s almost certain to be appealed by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who says fear of catching the virus doesn’t meet the standard to vote by mail.

Paxton issued the following statement Tuesday:

READ MORE: Blue Mound Police: Meth, Cocaine, Heroin Among Drugs Found After 'Routine' Traffic Stop

“The district court’s opinion ignores the evidence and disregards well-established law. We will seek immediate review by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Texas will hold primary runoff elections in July.

Latest Coronavirus News | Coronavirus Resources

MORE NEWS: Railroad Inspector Tremelle Sykes Charged With Lying About Inspections In Texas

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)