AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation applauds the Texas Attorney General’s defense of state law protections necessary to ensure integrity of our elections. TPPF supports the State seeking reversal of yesterday’s state district court temporary injunction mandating voters to be allowed to vote by mail if they fear contracting the coronavirus.
“The Texas Attorney General is correct in its guidance that voting by mail based on disability is reserved for Texans with actual illness or medical problem rendering them unable to vote in-person,” said Robert Henneke, general counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Regardless, yesterday’s temporary injunction by the state district judge is limited only to Travis County as the Travis County Clerk, the election administrator for Travis County, was the only election administrator named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Election administrators for all other 253 counties in Texas should continue to follow the legally correct guidance from the Texas Attorney General.”
The temporary injunction was announced at the same time as Paxton office said that fear of contracting COVID-19 does not qualify voters to vote by mail in upcoming state elections.
“Texas law prudently limits mail-in balloting to Texans serving away from home in the military or studying out of town in college, or temporarily away on business or vacation, Texans aged 65 and older, and Texans’ with a disability that makes it difficult for them to get to the polls,” said Francisco “Quico” Canseco, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Election Integrity Project. “While necessary for voters who truly can’t get to the polls, ballot-by-mail is rife with risk because there is a broken chain of custody. The ability to manage those risks decreases with broad expansion of the practice. Mitigating these hazards would take years to iron out and flipping a switch on statewide mail-in ballots would undermine the integrity of our system.”