Oct 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Texas Supreme Court stays order blocking limits on ballot drop-off sites

A sign is seen at drive-through mail ballot drop off site at NRG Stadium in Houston

A sign is seen at drive-through mail ballot drop off site at NRG Stadium in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images

The Texas Supreme Court on Saturday temporarily stayed an order by the lower court that blocked Gov. Greg Abbott's limits on drop-off locations for mail-in ballots.

Why it matters: The move means voters will continue to be restricted to a single drop-off location per county for now. The state's Supreme Court gave both sides until Monday at 5 p.m. CDT to file responses as it considers whether to take up the issue. By then, there will be just over one week until the election.

Catch-up quick: The Third District Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a ruling by a state judge that blocked Abbott's (R) Oct. 1 proclamation restricting voters to one location for each county to drop off absentee ballots in the general election.

  • Abbott and Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, who argue the proclamation is meant to protect election security, immediately appealed to the state's Supreme Court.
  • State Democrats have accused the governor of trying to suppress the vote by forcing voters to travel further and to more-crowded locations to drop their ballots.
  • Last week, a federal appeals court upheld Abbott's order under federal law, overturning a lower court’s ruling.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic has seen the 2020 elections fight spill over into courtrooms across the country, including in the Supreme Court.

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