May 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Texas appeals court temporarily blocks mail-in voting for all ruling

Ballot Processing Manager Jerelyn Hampton sorts vote-by-mail ballots by party for the presidential primary at King County Elections in Renton, Washington
Vote-by-mail ballot processing. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Wednesday temporarily halted a lower court judge's ruling to expand voting by mail in Texas to all 16 million state voters in the July elections.

Details: The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Texas' Republican attorney general on Wednesday to block a federal judge's ruling a day earlier that all registered voters in the state should have the option of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Meanwhile, the Texas Supreme Court is hearing a separate case brought by the state attorney general on whether to limit absentee voting, the Texas Tribune notes.
  • Texas only permits mail-in voting for seniors and those with health conditions unable to cast ballots in person.

The big picture: Many states have placed an increased emphasis on access to early voting this year as part of efforts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

  • The Republican Party, President Trump and his re-election campaign have largely sought to push back against attempts to expand mail-in voting.
  • Experts have found all forms of voting fraud are rare in the U.S., but "the mail voting system is more vulnerable to fraud than voting in person," the New York Times notes.

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