Texas delivered a blow to Democrats’ plans for using the Chinese coronavirus as an excuse to bypass state election laws and allow everyone to vote by mail, a process ripe for fraud.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Texas sided with the state, unanimously ruling that voters may not claim susceptibility to the virus as a “disability” in order to apply for a mail-in ballot:

“We agree with the State that a lack of immunity to COVID-19 is not itself a ‘physical condition’ that renders a voter eligible to vote by mail within the meaning of § 82.002(a). Confident that election officials will comply, we decline to issue the writ of mandamus.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had also asked the court to order local election officials to stop giving voters false information about the state’s vote-by-mail laws.

In a statement shortly after the ruling, Paxton applauded the court’s decision, adding, “Election officials have a duty to reject mail-in ballot applications from voters who are not entitled to vote by mail. In-person voting is the surest way to maintain the integrity of our elections, prevent voter fraud, and guarantee that every voter is who they claim to be.”

Under Texas law, only voters who are 65 or older, disabled, in jail, or outside their home county during an election are eligible to vote by mail.

But two lawsuits filed by the Texas Democrat Party seeking to overturn vote-by-mail limits set by the legislature have created confusion. They want courts to force county election officials to accept every mail-ballot application marked “disability” for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.

The lawsuits are part of a nationwide litigation strategy by Democrats using courts and the coronavirus crisis to push universal vote-by-mail and other election policies they haven’t been able to win in state legislatures.

Democrats have argued fear of contracting the coronavirus at the polls should qualify all voters to claim they are disabled and request a mail ballot.

Today’s ruling by the Texas Supreme Court is a major blow to Democrats’ argument.

A federal case involving Texas Democrats’ attempt to expand voting by mail is pending before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.