AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request by Texas Democrats to allow all of the state’s 16 million registered voters to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
The denial is not the end of the ongoing battle over mail-in voting in Texas, but it remains a loss for Democrats who made the emergency ruling request while the original case is tied up at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.READ MORE: Governor Abbott Proposes Parental Bill of Rights As Part of Re-Election Campaign
Justice Sonia Sotomayor urged the lower court to consider the case “well in advance of the November election.” Voting by mail in Texas is generally limited to those 65 or older or those with a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents voting in person.
For months, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has fought expanding mail-in balloting during the pandemic, saying fear of contracting the virus is an insufficient reason.READ MORE: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Refuses To Hand Over January 6 Records
In May, Paxton urged an order from the Texas Supreme Court for officials in counties like Dallas, El Paso, and Harris, to follow voting laws after he said officials told residents to request mail-in ballots if they fear contracting COVID-19 by claiming “disability” on applications.
A federal judge in Texas sided with Democrats in May, but that decision is on hold pending appeal.
Early voting in Texas begins Monday for primary runoff elections that had been postponed to July over coronavirus fears, but Texas is now one of the nation’s coronavirus hotspots as confirmed cases reach record levels and Gov. Greg Abbott reimposes restrictions.MORE NEWS: Dallas ISD: A Lot Involved In Keeping Doors Open During COVID-19 Surge
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