The Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on expanding voters’ ability to use mail-in ballots for upcoming elections. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton received a stay from the court last Friday in response to his petition asking the court to stop counties from approving such requests.
Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann appellate attorney David Coale notes that the attorney general is “pushing the envelope” in the use of a mandamus petition.
“Preparations for the 2020 elections are still in the early stages, and there is ongoing litigation involving the identical issue about how to read the Election Code,” said Mr. Coale. “Ordinarily, an appellate court is reluctant to grant mandamus relief unless harm is imminent, and no other court is able to address the potential harm.”
Mr. Paxton has argued that state law allows only those Texans with a disability, over the age of 65, or out of their county of residence during elections to request those specific ballots. He claims the fear of contracting the coronavirus does not fall into any of those specific categories.
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