Texas AG sues to stop illegal mass mail-in vote for Harris County

by WorldTribune Staff, September 3, 2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit to stop the clerk of Harris County from sending mail-in ballots to all of the county’s 2.4 million registered voters.

“Election officials have a duty to reject mail-in ballot applications from voters who are not eligible to vote by mail,” Paxton said in a statement.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. / AP

“Unfortunately, instead of protecting the integrity of our democratic process, the Harris County clerk decided to knowingly violate election laws by preparing to send over two million ballot applications to many Texans who do not qualify and have not requested to vote by mail.”

Paxton compared mail-in voter fraud to credit card skimmers. Credit card skimmers steal financial information, while “vote harvesters can easily collect ‘authentic’ signatures under false pretenses and steal your vote.”

Texas is one of seven states in which all voters are not eligible to vote by mail-in ballot.

To be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, voters must be: 65 years or older; disabled; out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

Harris County Clerk Christopher Hollins, who has only been in office since June, said he plans to include a document explaining which voters qualify for mail-in ballots with the applications to all of the county’s voters.

“If the secretary of state would take the time to meet with us instead of jumping into court, they would see that the information we plan to share with voters provides clarity about voters’ rights and eligibility to vote by mail,” Hollins said in a statement.

Democrats are contending that fear of covid passes the test for a disability requirement to receive mail-in ballots.

“The question of if a voter qualifies for the disability requirement if that voter does not have immunity from COVID-19 has been bantered about for months since Democrats decided it would be a great idea for universal mail-in voting to be put into place,” HotAir.com’s Karen Townsend noted on Sept. 2. “Republicans recognize it for what it is – a scheme to hand the election to Democrats because of the likelihood of voter fraud and ballot harvesting.”

In May the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a lack of covid immunity does not qualify as a reason to vote by mail.

Harris County Republicans have joined Paxton’s lawsuit, arguing that Hollins is ignoring the court’s June ruling on mail ballots and misreading the Texas Election Code.

“Harris County has a rogue clerk who is abusing the application to vote by mail process and compromising the integrity of elections in Harris County,” the suit states. The other plaintiffs are conservative activist Dr. Steven Hotze, and Sharon Hemphill, a Republican running for judge in the 80th Judicial District Court.

The suit argues that the Election Code states residents must request a mail ballot application, and that absentee voting in Texas is reserved for a small group of voters. Since the code does not specifically permit a county clerk or elections administrator to send mail ballot applications to residents who do not request them, the suit claims this practice is illegal.

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