Texas Governor Hit With Legal Move To Cancel Vote Drop Box Removal

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The Republican Party has worked overtime during the 2020 elections to suppress the vote, following Trump’s lead on spreading disinformation about mail-in voting as a source of widespread voter fraud despite having no evidence of that. From cutting down the amount of time voters have to submit ballots to slowing down the USPS to thwart the will of the voters in November, Republicans have devised a number of ways to prevent the massive blue wave that’s headed their way.

In Texas, Gov. Gregg Abbott’s strategy for slowing the vote included eliminating 11 of the 12 ballot drop-off boxes in one of the state’s largest counties, Harris County, which includes the city of Houston. Just for reference, Harris County has more voters than any other in Texas and is one of only a handful won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In response, those fighting to protect voting rights have filed a lawsuit to stop the limits on how many ballot drop-off boxes can be present for voters in 2020.

‘Civil rights and voter advocacy groups have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block an order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that dramatically reduced the number of drop-off locations for mail ballots.

‘The lawsuit filed late Thursday could be the first of many legal challenges against Abbott’s order that assigns just one drop-off location in each of Texas’ 254 counties and allows poll watchers to observe ballot deliveries. The order, which took effect Friday, shutters dozens of sites statewide, including in Texas’ largest cities and Democratic strongholds.’

Like all of the other arguments Republicans have made in support of their attempts at voter suppression, Abbott insisted that limiting the number of drop-off boxes is necessary to prevent voter fraud. In the vast majority of such cases in recent days, judges have found that those arguments have not included sufficient evidence to support that claim. The lawsuit will need to move quickly to undo Abbott’s actions in time for Election Day.

‘The Republican governor said the order is needed to ensure election security — echoing calls from President Donald Trump for his supporters to keep close watch on mail-in voting, but Democrats blasted it as blatant voter suppression…

‘Abbott’s order would eliminate 11 drop-off locations in Harris County, which includes the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston.’

Abbott’s earlier attempts to meddle with the elections have changed longstanding Texas laws around voting. In the midst of the coronavirus, changes made should be geared toward ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to vote safely. So far, that’s not at all what Abbott has attempted to do.

‘For years, Texas had allowed straight-ticket voting, but Abbott signed a law in 2017 that eliminated the option starting this fall. Democrats sued to have it reinstated to reduce wait times for in-person voting, but a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that November’s elections are too close for Texas to restore straight-ticket voting as an option.

‘The U.S. Postal Service informed Texas in July that, given the state’s current mail ballot request deadline, some ballots may not be delivered to voters by Election Day, and that even if all ballots reached voters on time, there was a “significant risk” that completed ballots postmarked on or near Election Day would not be received by the state’s Nov. 4 deadline.’