Supreme Court rejects Texas Democrats’ request to allow mail ballots for all voters

Contact tracers work at a Harris County Public Health facility in Houston on June 25.
Contact tracers, from left, Christella Uwera, Dishell Freeman and Alejandra Camarillo work at a Harris County Public Health facility in Houston on June 25. Texas’ governor rolled back his state’s reopening after coronavirus infections surged.
(Associated Press)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request by Texas Democrats to allow all of the state’s 16 million registered voters to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The denial is not the end of the ongoing battle over mail-in voting in Texas, but it remains a loss for Democrats who made the emergency ruling request while the original case is tied up at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor urged the lower court to consider the case “well in advance of the November election.” Voting by mail in Texas is generally limited to those 65 or older or those with a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents voting in person.

The governors of Texas and Florida backpedal on their states’ aggressive reopenings amid resurgences of COVID-19 cases.

June 26, 2020


For months, Republican Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton has fought expanding mail-in balloting during the pandemic, saying fear of contracting the virus is an insufficient reason. A federal judge in Texas sided with Democrats in May, but that decision is on hold pending appeal.

Early voting in Texas begins Monday for primary runoff elections that had been postponed until July over coronavirus fears, but Texas is now one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots as confirmed cases reach record levels and Gov. Greg Abbott reimposes restrictions.

COVID-19 has led to a push for vote by mail, but advocates face logistical and legal hurdles — and “rigged election” claims from President Trump.

June 22, 2020