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Judge to hear Republican bid to void 100,000 votes in Texas

10 Comments
By Jan Wolfe

A federal judge in Texas scheduled an emergency hearing for Monday on whether Houston officials unlawfully allowed drive-through voting and should toss more than 100,000 votes in the Democratic-leaning area.

In a brief order, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Houston on Friday agreed to hear arguments by a Republican state legislator and others that votes already cast at drive-through voting sites in the Houston area should be rejected.

The lawsuit was brought on Wednesday by plaintiffs including Steve Hotze, a conservative activist, and state Representative Steve Toth. They accused Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, a Democrat, of exceeding his constitutional authority by allowing drive-through voting as an alternative to walk-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris County, home to about 4.7 million people, is the third most populous county in the United States. It currently has 10 drive-through polling sites, which are available to all voters.

The lawsuit came after the Texas Supreme Court, one of the most conservative state courts in the United States, rejected similar bids to halt drive-through voting in Harris County.

The plaintiffs ask the court to "reject any votes it finds were cast in violation of the Texas Election Code" and" require all memory cards from the 10 drive-thru voting locations be secured and not entered or downloaded into the Tally machine until this Court issues an order on this Complaint."

Hanen was appointed by President George W Bush, a Republican.

The request is "wholly unreasonable," Democratic groups, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on Friday in a motion asking to intervene in the case.

"Plaintiffs ask this Court to throw Texas’s election into chaos by invalidating the votes of more than 100,000 eligible Texas voters who cast their ballots at drive-thru voting locations at the invitation of county officials and in reliance on the Texas Supreme Court’s decision to allow drive-thru voting to proceed," the groups said.

Michael Morley, a professor of election law at Florida State University, called the lawsuit meritless and said it proposes an"extreme remedy."

"I think the county has a strong legal basis under state law for implementing these voting alternatives during a pandemic," Morley said. "Even if the court disagreed, however, a remedy would most likely be purely prospective - prohibiting continued use of these mechanisms while still counting votes already cast."

Texas, the second largest U.S. state, is a traditionally Republican state, but polls show President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden close, with more than 9 million ballots already cast, eclipsing total turnout from 2016.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments

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Voter suppression seems to be trump’s last hope!!!!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This is what happens when you have mail in voting, shouldn’t happen, everyone should get off their butts and go to the station and when Democrats get caught, it’s voter suppression, so good on them for paying attention and catching this.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Voter suppression in action. Voters followed the exact same procedures and provided the same ID. They just did it from their cars to protect them.

Voter suppression is the only way Trump can win and even then, it might not be enough.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Is this the legal process to vote?

appears not, or it wouldn’t be in court.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Blatant, transparent voter suppression and invalidation....just like some third world banana Republic...

That's what Trump has brought to America...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I'm missing what the problem is in the article. I can think of only one issue, that the voter isn't guaranteed an secret vote if there are others in the car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All voting is a waste of time. The world is full of super intelligent hackers who could change the results.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

This is what happens when you have mail in voting, shouldn’t happen, everyone should get off their butts and go to the station and when Democrats get caught, it’s voter suppression, so good on them for paying attention and catching this.

Lol, no this is what happens when you don't read the article carefully. The argument is over drive through voting centers. It has absolutely nothing to do with mail in voting. In this case people did get off their butts as you put it and drove to a drive in polling place to cast their vote instead of a walk in voting center with the dangers inherent in mixing with a crowd of people or standing in line.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The Texas governor and some legislators want it stopped even though their state supreme court ruled drive through voting was legal.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Is this the legal process to vote?

appears not, or it wouldn’t be in court

The Texas Supreme Court last Thursday threw out an identical Republican challenge to drive through voting in Harris County and allowed it to continue. The Texas Secretary of State had approved Harris County's drive through voting procedures before they were allowed to be opened. This court challenge seems futile.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

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