Plans by Democrat Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins to send mail-ballot applications to all 2.37 million registered voters in the county have been officially thwarted by the Texas Supreme Court, reversing a lower court’s judgment.
After a legal action filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on behalf of the state of Texas, the Court ruled that “the Election Code does not authorize an early-voting clerk to send an application to vote by mail to a voter who has not requested one and that a clerk’s doing so results in irreparable injury to the State.”
The ruling comes after the Court issued a temporary stay several weeks ago, which had already effectively put a halt to the plan.
“I thank the Texas Supreme Court for recognizing that Texas election law prohibits county clerks from sending out unsolicited mail-in ballot applications en masse. Doing so would do nothing but jeopardize the security and integrity of our democratic process,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This is a huge win for Texas, and I will continue to fight for safe and fair elections across the state.”
Opponents to Harris County’s scheme argued that sending applications to all registered voters could cause voters to provide false information on the form, confuse them about their ability to vote by mail, and impede the ability of those who are able to vote by mail by clogging up the infrastructure with applications from those who do not qualify.
Texas election law currently allows for absentee ballot-by-mail for voters who are age 65 or older, disabled, out of the county during the voting period, or incarcerated but otherwise eligible to vote.
Earlier this year, Texas Democrats tried unsuccessfully to argue in court that fear of contracting the coronavirus at a polling location constituted a “disability” that would allow for widespread absentee voting.