Attorney General Ken Paxton Wednesday filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court, requesting that the court compel the early-voting clerks for Dallas, Cameron, El Paso, Harris and Travis Counties to follow Texas law on mail-in ballots. Texas law generally requires in-person voting, and allows mail balloting for certain limited groups, including those who are disabled. In violation of that requirement, officials in those counties are encouraging voters without actual disabilities to claim “disability” on their mail-in ballot applications.
“Each misapplication of Texas election law damages the integrity of our elections and increases the risk of voter fraud. In-person voting is the surest way to prevent voter fraud and guarantee that every voter is who they claim to be and has a fair opportunity to cast their vote,” said Attorney General Paxton. “It is unfortunate that certain county election officials have refused to perform their duties and have instead unlawfully gone beyond the Legislature’s determination of who is eligible to vote by mail. My office will continue to defend the integrity of Texas’s election laws.”
“Disability,” as that term is used in the Texas Election Code’s provisions allowing voting by mail, means a “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. 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 non-physical reaction to the current pandemic and does not amount to a sickness or physical condition that qualifies a voter to receive a ballot by mail.
Read a copy of the filing here.