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Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

The Texas Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that "a voter's lack of immunity to COVID-19" doesn't qualify them to apply for a mail-in ballot because it's "not a 'disability' as defined by the Election Code."

Details: The court denied the request of the state's Republican attorney general to stop local election officials from sending vote-by-mail ballots because a voter's lack of immunity to the coronavirus does not constitute a disability. The judges were confident clerks "will comply with the law in good faith."

What they're saying: President Trump reacted to the decision on Wednesday night by tweeting, "Big win in Texas on the dangerous Mail In Voting Scam!"

  • The Texas Democratic Party said in a statement that unless the federal court intervenes, "voters will have to either risk standing in line and contracting the coronavirus or they'll risk prosecution" by the state attorney general "for simply requesting a mail-in-ballot."

The big picture: A lower court ruled earlier this month that absentee voting could be expanded to all 16 million Texas voters in the July elections.

  • Trump and some in the Republican Party are pushing back on several states' attempts to introduce early voting options in response to the pandemic.
  • Mail-in voting is "more vulnerable to fraud than voting in person," but it's still rare — as are all forms of voter fraud in the U.S., the New York Times notes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comments by Trump and the Democrats.

Go deeper

Russia likely to keep amplifying criticism of mail-in voting, DHS says

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf testifies to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on August 6. Photo: Alex Wong/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security's intelligence branch warned law enforcement Thursday that it believes Russian-controlled social media trolls and state media are likely to continue trying to sow distrust in U.S. election results and mail-in ballots, ABC News first reported.

Why it matters: Americans are expected to vote by mail in record numbers in November's election due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means it may be days or weeks after election day before it's clear who won the presidency and down-ballot races.

Updated Sep 4, 2020 - Technology

Zuckerberg warns of post-election violence

Mark Zuckerberg tells "Axios on HBO" that Facebook is imposing new election rules to deter use of the platform to spread of misinformation and even violence, and to help voters see the results as "legitimate and fair."

Driving the news: The new measures, announced Thursday, include throwing a flag on posts by candidates who claim premature victory, and forbidding new ads within a week of Election Day.

Sep 3, 2020 - Technology

Facebook will ban new political ads a week before Election Day

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday that it will no longer accept new political ads for the week leading up to Election Day. It will also label posts from candidates who claim victory prematurely and will direct users to the official results.

Why it matters: It's the most aggressive effort Facebook has made to date to curb manipulation in the days leading up to the U.S. election.