AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — It’s been less than 48 hours since a San Antonio court issued a ruling requiring all voters, poll workers, and poll watchers to wear masks at polling stations, but a federal appeals court has blocked that order.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed U.S. District Judge Jason Pulliam’s order.
Pulliam ruled that not requiring face coverings inside Texas polling places created a discriminatory burden on Black and Latino voters, who face higher risks of death and severe illness from the coronavirus.
Texas elections administrators had expected Pulliam’s ruling to be put on hold and did not begin enforcing his order requiring the face coverings. Texas has had a statewide mask mandate since July, but Republican Gov. Greg Abbott carved out an exception for polling places.
More than 8 million votes have been cast early in Texas, which is nearly the total number that were cast in the nation’s second-largest state during the 2016 election. Early voting in Texas ends Friday.
The lawsuit seeking the mask requirement inside polling stations was filed by the Texas NAACP and the Latino rights group Mi Familia Vota.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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