Elections 2020State Appeals Court Rules Against Gov. Abbott’s One-Location Limitation of Ballot Drop-Off Sites

The decision by a state appeals court will likely be taken to the Texas Supreme Court for a final decision.
October 23, 2020
Update: The Texas Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of the appeals court’s order pending review.
State and federal court orders are once again in conflict, this time over Governor Greg Abbott’s limitation of one mail ballot drop-off site per county. The Texas Tribune reported that, according to attorneys involved with the case, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision to halt Abbott’s order.

Certain counties, most notably Harris County, had expanded the number of locations at which absentee voters can deposit their ballot to election officials. Hollins expanded the number of locations with the intent to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Abbott, by executive order, clamped down on that practice using election security as justification.

This was challenged in federal court by the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). A federal district judge sided with LULAC, permitting the expansion. But that decision was soon overruled by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with Abbott.

But in state court only two days later, a Travis County judge ruled against the governor and the decision was immediately appealed.

The Texan Tumbler

Abbott’s order also required that poll watchers be permitted to observe ballot intake at any of the drop-off locations. Reports of officials preventing poll watchers from their duly consigned ability sprang from Harris County.

The decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas which has already ruled on numerous elections-related cases.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and 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 quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.