Elections 2020Statewide NewsAbbott’s ‘One Per County’ Order Limiting Mail Ballot Drop-Off Halted

The lower court's order will be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court by the Texas Attorney General. Early voting is already underway.
October 15, 2020
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Travis County district court Judge Tim Sulak has temporarily suspended Governor Abbott’s order limiting counties to one mail ballot drop-off location.

Abbott issued the order after Harris County Interim Clerk Chris Hollins expanded the number of locations to as many as 12, contrary to state code. He did so as part of an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus at voting locations.

Sulak echoed that sentiment in his reasoning, issuing the temporary injunction because “The limitation to a single drop-off location for mail ballots would likely needlessly and unreasonably increase risks of exposure to COVID-19 infections.”

The trial date to rule more completely on the matter is set for November 9, six days after the election.

Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement shortly thereafter stating his office will appeal the decision straight to the Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX).

The state court’s decision runs counter to one made by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the federal version of the case, who sided with the State of Texas and Abbott.

Paxton’s appeal to SCOTX will likely settle the matter on the state side, while it is possible the Supreme Court of the United States takes up the Fifth Circuit’s decision — although, it is unlikely with the new term about to start, confirmation hearings transpiring, and the time-sensitivity of the issue with early voting already underway and the election 19 days away.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.