Early voting began Tuesday, and with it came Harris County’s expansion of curbside voting to any registered voter. This was challenged by a lawsuit from the Republican Party of Texas (RPT).
But a panel of judges on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals denied the request for emergency relief from the relators.
The RPT will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Texas. A spokesman told The Texan, “We are escalating it to the Supreme Court of Texas, because it is illegal to allow expanded curbside and drive-thru voting. We filed this case to ensure that no illegal votes would be cast and counted in this election.”
Curbside voting is limited to those physically unable to enter the polling location. Texas Election Code reads, “If a voter is physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health, on the voter’s request, an election officer shall deliver a ballot to the voter at the polling place entrance or curb.”
The court ruled the RPT lacked standing to challenge the law “because it has not shown that it has an interest or a particularized injury that is distinct from that of the general public.”
Additionally, the court ruled that, since the election is already underway, emergency relief is unavailable as “the relators delayed filing this mandamus until over a month after learning of the actions of the Harris County Clerk’s Office.”
Harris County has provided 10 early voting locations at which curbside voting is available. Interim Clerk Chris Hollins has come under fire for his vast expansions of voting methods and is the subject in another lawsuit concerning expanded early voting drop-off sites.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sided against Hollins and with the state in that suit, cementing the governor’s limit of drop-off sites to one per county — consistent with state code.
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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.