Digital Exclusive: Vote by mail expansion blocked by Texas Supreme Court


(YourBasin) – After postponing the May runoff elections to July, Texas Supreme Court has ruled that not having immunity to coronavirus is not a ‘physical condition’ that allows voters to vote by mail, according to the court petition.

Governor Abbot issued the postponement in March moving the runoff from May 26 to July 14.

While Texas isn’t looking to move to vote by mail, UTPB professor of history Derek Catsam says the process is doable.

“Voting by mail is a legitimate mechanism that’s done in, you know, so called red states so called blue states,” says Catsam.

Texas began reopening after Governor Abbot announced phase 1 at the end of April which some people thought the opening was too fast while others believed the rate of the opening wasn’t happening fast enough.

Alas, the invisible enemy lingers out among Texans causing many to avoid gathering at the polls and receive ballots in the mail.

Under the Texas Election Code, voters qualify to vote by mail under five circumstances.

One of the circumstances includes if a voter has a ‘disability.’

That’s where some grey issues come in.

“There is no perfect voting mechanism and in circumstances like this if we are still facing the pandemic in Texas in July, which is at least possible, you need to have the option to make sure everybody can vote in these runoffs and in elections going forward,” says Catsam.

While the Texas Supreme agrees that the threat of infection doesn’t give voters a ‘disability’ to vote by mail but, they also understand that election officials have no responsibility to question or investigate a ballot application.

Leaving potential voters to check that disability box on their in mail ballot application.

The fog is pretty thick based on the decisions made in the Texas Supreme Court.

But, Catsam says preparing for every eventually is still important.

“I think we should still have a vote by mail option,” says Catsam, “all options should be available to as many people as possible.”

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