A federal decide in Texas on Friday blocked Gov. Greg Abbott’s transfer to restrict counties within the state to at least one poll drop-off web site every.
“The general public curiosity shouldn’t be served” by the governor’s order, Choose Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Courtroom for the Western District of Texas stated in granting a preliminary injunction in opposition to the order.
The Texas League of United Latin American Residents and different civil rights organizations had sued the governor over his order. The plaintiffs confirmed that the transfer “possible violates their basic proper to vote,” Choose Pitman stated in his ruling, which the state is more likely to enchantment.
The general public curiosity is finest served by “guaranteeing that certified absentee voters, who comprise among the most susceptible residents in Texas, can train their proper to vote and have that vote counted,” the decide wrote.
Mr. Abbott’s proclamation final week was criticized by some as a transfer to suppress voting, significantly Democratic votes, because the restrict on drop-off websites would have a harsher impression on the state’s extra densely populated areas, which usually vote extra closely for Democrats.
The state’s determination to cut back choices for places the place voters can drop off their ballots got here as questions of voting rights, voter suppression and the integrity of the election have emerged as main points within the 2020 marketing campaign. It additionally adopted disputes over drop containers in different states, together with Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Spokesmen for Mr. Abbott, a Republican, and the secretary of state, Ruth Hughs, who can also be named within the swimsuit, didn’t instantly reply early Saturday to requests for remark concerning the ruling.
In a statement final week asserting the proclamation, the governor stated that the transfer would improve “poll safety protocols.”
“These enhanced safety protocols will guarantee higher transparency and can assist cease makes an attempt at unlawful voting,” he stated.
There isn’t a proof that mail-in ballots result in widespread fraud.
Gilberto Hinojosa, the Texas Democratic Occasion chairman, stated in a statement on Friday that Choose Pitman’s order “adopted well-established regulation and stopped the governor from making up election guidelines after the election began.”
“This isn’t the primary time Abbott and Texas Republicans have tried to suppress the vote,” he stated, “and it gained’t be the final.”