AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, the lack of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify a voter to vote by mail.
However, the ruling does not prohibit county clerks from approving such requests.
Election law established by the Texas Legislature generally requires in-person voting, and allows mail balloting only for certain limited groups, including those with disabilities that render them unable to vote in-person.
“I applaud the Texas Supreme Court for ruling that certain election officials’ definition of ‘disability’ does not trump that of the Legislature, which has determined that widespread mail-in balloting carries unacceptable risks of corruption and fraud,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Election officials have a duty to reject mail-in ballot applications from voters who are not entitled to vote by mail. In-person voting is the surest way to maintain the integrity of our elections, prevent voter fraud and guarantee that every voter is who they claim to be.”
“Disability,” as that term is used in the Texas Election Code’s provisions allowing voting by mail, must involve “sickness or physical condition” that prevents a voter from voting in person on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health, Paxton’s office said in a news release.
A voter ill with COVID-19 and who meets those requirements may apply for a ballot by mail. Fear of contracting COVID-19, however, is a normal emotional reaction to the current pandemic and does not amount to an actual disability that qualifies a voter to receive a ballot by mail.