Texas Judge Dramatically Thwarts GOP Plot Against 127k Votes


A Texas federal judge has rejected a plea from a handful of local Republicans to invalidate nearly 127,000 votes that had been cast at drive-thru polling locations in Harris County, Texas, which is heavily populated and leans Democratic. (Hillary Clinton won the county in 2016.) The Republicans behind the challenge — including activist Steven Hotze, state Rep. Steve Toth, and others — alleged that drive-thru polling locations that were set up in Harris County constituted illegal extensions of curbside voting, which is a Texas service available to disabled voters.

Now, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has concluded that the Republican plaintiffs had no standing on which to bring their challenge in federal court. Even if they did have standing via being able to prove some kind of specific injury, Hanen says that he still would have upheld the ballots. Over the weekend, the Texas Supreme Court rejected a state court case brought by the same plaintiffs against the same ballots, although they did not issue an opinion alongside their rejection of the request to invalidate almost 127,000 Harris County votes.

Screenshot-2020-11-02-at-4.30.56-PM Texas Judge Dramatically Thwarts GOP Plot Against 127k Votes Donald Trump Election 2020 Politics Top Stories

The plaintiffs aren’t giving up in either case against the drive-thru ballots. Bloomberg reports that the plaintiffs plan to appeal the new federal court decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and they plan to appeal the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling against them to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Trump pick Amy Coney Barrett was just recently confirmed. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has an obvious conservative lean following the addition of Barrett to the bench, there’s no particular indication that they’d overturn a lower-court decision and rule in favor of the plaintiffs. The Texas Supreme Court is entirely Republican, and Judge Hanen is a conservative, who was appointed by George W. Bush. Even these conservatives didn’t support the push against the ballots.

These cases are not the only fronts on which struggles over the presidential race are being waged. For example, a Nevada judge dealt Republicans a major defeat on Monday, rejecting their request to stop Clark County, Nevada, from using a particular signature scanning machine during their processing of absentee ballots. If this device had been removed from the equation, Clark County Registrar Joseph Gloria said that he was concerned that the county would not be able to process all ballots on time. The Republican plaintiffs in that case — including the Trump campaign — had also sought to be allowed to place cameras in ballot-processing areas, but that request was also denied.