As Texas Democrats attempt to use the Chinese coronavirus as a pretext to increase voting by mail, a process often ripe for fraud, the state’s highest civil court is putting a halt to those plans for the time being.

After a ruling by the Houston Court of Appeals that would have prevented state officials from enforcing state law regarding mail-in ballots, the Texas Supreme Court issued a stay on Friday as they prepare to take oral arguments in the case, brought by the Texas Democrat Party.

“Protecting the integrity of elections is one of my most important and sacred obligations. The Legislature has carefully limited who may and may not vote by mail. The Travis County trial court’s decision to allow everyone to vote by mail is contrary to state law and will be reversed on appeal,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“I am pleased that today the Texas Supreme Court confirmed that my office may continue to prosecute voter fraud and issue guidance on mail-in ballots while that appeal plays out,” he added.

Texas Democrats, however, bemoaned the decision, with party chairman Gilberto Hinajosa calling it “a dark day for our democracy.”

Amidst the Chinese coronavirus pandemic and shutdown, Texas Democrats have been calling for all voters to vote in this year’s election by mail-in ballots. Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have expressed concern that mail-in ballots are subject to fraud. They are also worried that state election administrators may not be equipped to handle a massive increase in mail-in balloting, which is typically reserved for the elderly and disabled.

While the Texas Supreme Court has not ruled on the merit of the case, oral arguments are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens