The High Court’s decision called for a separate mail order from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) to stop the effort to send the applications before a separate order was going to end. The All-Republican court ruling ordered the county to refrain from sending unsolicited applications, “until further orders.”
A Supreme Court decision overturned a Friday ruling from the state’s district judge allowing Harris County to send applications, though Paxton, who has argued that sending unsolicited mail would confuse voters. Appealed the case to the High Court.
Tuesday’s decision was the second such decision, scheduled to end after the earlier mandate to stop the Harris mailings. The county is the most populous in Texas.
Paxton said, “I strongly applaud the Texas Supreme Court for preventing Harris County clerks from sending millions of mail-in ballot applications that would create voter confusion and jeopardize the integrity and security of our elections.” “The Harris County clerk deliberately opted to violate Texas election law and weaken election security. I thank the clerk for continuing to pursue this case with his illegal plans.”
Harris County announced earlier this year that it intended to send applications to every registered voter. Texas law states that registered voters in the state automatically qualify for a ballot that they can either mail or leave.
“Fortunately, all vote-by-mail applications have already been distributed to voters in Harris County, ages 65 and older. My office is ready to send applications and educational materials to the remaining registered voters at the conclusion of this baseless lawsuit, ”Harris County Clerk Chris Hallins tweeted.
Fortunately, all vote-by-mail applications have already been distributed to Harris County voters 65 and older. My office is ready to send applications and educational materials to the remaining registered voters at the conclusion of this baseless litigation. https://t.co/nxUdVso9ZI
– Chris Hollins (@CGHollins) September 15, 2020
Harris County has already sent applications for mail-in ballots for registered voters who are seniors.
The ongoing court battle between Paxton and Harris County is part of a broader fight over mail-in voting in the Lone Star State, with Republicans coming back against advocates urging Austin to expand the practice during the coronavirus virus epidemic.