“Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), who has been under intense criticism for the better part of a day for severely restricting mail-in ballot drop-off locations, now faces a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups and Texas citizens in federal court.
The lawsuit, filed late Thursday, was an immediate response to Abbott’s proclamation, which suspended state election law to require that all in-person mail-in ballots can only be dropped off at one location per county in order to satisfy “enhanced ballot security protocol.” From the proclamation:
I further suspend Section 86.006(a-1) of the Texas Election Code, for any election ordered or authorized to occur on November 3, 2020, to the extent necessary to allow a voter to deliver a marked mail ballot in person to the early voting clerk’s office prior to and including on election day; provided, however, that beginning on October 2, 2020, this suspension applies only when:
(1)the voter delivers the marked mail ballot at a single early voting clerk’s office location that is publicly designated by the early voting clerk for the return of marked mail ballots under Section 86.006(a-1) and this suspension…
The lawsuit said that Abbott embarked on an “unconstitutional” mission to create new burdens and suppress the minority vote under the guise of security.
“In the midst of an election that is already underway, forcing such new burdens on voters who relied on a different set of election rules to make their voting plan, is unreasonable, unfair, and unconstitutional,” the complaint said. “And, as Governor Abbott recently argued, it engenders voter confusion and undermines the public’s confidence in the election itself.””