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Federal appeals court sides with Paxton in Texas mail-in ballot battle

BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (Texas News Radio) — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has sided with the State of Texas in its legal battle over mail-in ballots Thursday.

The panel, which ruled unanimously, said, “the spread of the [coronavirus] has not given ‘unelected federal judges’ a roving commission to rewrite state election codes”.

A federal judge in San Antonio sided with plaintiffs in the case to allow anyone in the state fearful going to a polling place because of the coronavirus to get a mail-in ballot.  The plaintiffs, which included the Texas Democratic Party, argued that the virus should be seen as a disability.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued allowing almost any registered voter in Texas by mail-in ballot would greatly increase the risk of voter fraud.

The Texas Supreme Court in its ruling said the potential to contract a virus is not the same as having a disability.

Both courts have also said the question of election law is a political one and not one to be made by judges.  In the state suit, the court said the law is clear in who is allowed to obtain a mail-in ballot and who is not.

“I applaud the Fifth Circuit for staying the federal court’s erroneous decision and preventing widespread mail-in balloting while the case proceeds. Allowing universal mail-in ballots, which are particularly vulnerable to fraud, would only lead to greater election fraud and disenfranchise lawful voters,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The unanimous Fifth Circuit ruling puts a stop to this blatant violation of Texas law.”


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