If Democrats were hoping they’d be able to resort to the mail-in ballot option in the state of Texas, then it’s safe to say that their luck isn’t that good, or at least it hasn’t proven to be just yet.
According to the New York Post, the Texas Supreme Court has blocked a temporary lifting of restrictions for the act thanks to actions by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Keep in mind, this isn’t permanent but Paxton isn’t going to let local Texas governments just throw around mail-in ballots like concert fliers:
The court late Friday granted a stay that overruled a lower-court order that had temporarily lifted mail-in voting restrictions to allow residents to vote by mail if they cite concerns about catching the coronavirus at polling places, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Republican state Attorney General Ken Paxton spearheaded the effort to stop the mail-in voting initiative and had petitioned the Supreme Court for the stay.
The high court’s order stops the distribution of mail-in ballots to those who fear getting infected by voting in person for the election, at least until Paxton’s appeal is heard later this week.
Paxton’s appeal will be heard on Wednesday.
While the professed concern is helping those afraid of catching COVID-19, Paxton smells a rat and is working toward the prevention of mass amounts of voter fraud made possible by mail-in ballots. According to an official statement by Paxton, local governments were not following state law and playing it fast and loose with the mail-in option.
“Protecting the integrity of elections is one of my most important and sacred obligations. The Legislature has carefully limited who may and may not vote by mail. The Travis County trial court’s decision to allow everyone to vote by mail is contrary to state law and will be reversed on appeal. I am pleased that today the Texas Supreme Court confirmed that my office may continue to prosecute voter fraud and issue guidance on mail-in ballots while that appeal plays out,” said Attorney General Paxton.
Democrats are, of course, aghast that Paxton would do something so cold as work to prevent voter fraud and hid behind the fact that people are suffering from the pandemic.
“I’m shocked, frankly, that the state of Texas even today, in these circumstances where so many people are suffering, that they’re fighting tooth and nail to try to make grandmothers [who are] 64 years old go and vote in person,” Chad Dunn, an attorney for the Democratic Party said according to the NYP.
The “you must not care about granny” argument was inevitable in this case, but that’s not the full story. Paxton clearly wants regulations followed when it comes to mail-in ballots. The problem has been discovered over the years, with people even confessing to manipulating mail-in ballots in Texas specifically. In fact, a bipartisan consensus has been reached that mail-in ballots contain the largest risk of voter fraud according to ProPublica:
There is bipartisan consensus that mail-in ballots are the form of voting most vulnerable to fraud. A 2005 commission led by President Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker III — George W. Bush’s secretary of state — concluded that these ballots “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” Ballot harvesting scandals, in which political operatives tamper with absentee ballots that voters have entrusted to them, have marred recent elections in North Carolina and Texas.
Paxton’s moves seem cold, but in reality, he’s protecting Texas voters.