Judge: All Texas Voters Should Be Allowed To Vote By Mail Due To Virus

The Texas Democratic Party sued state officials over restrictions barring most people from requesting an absentee ballot.
Posted at 5:05 PM, May 20, 2020

A Texas federal judge ruled on Tuesday that all voters in the state will be allowed to request an absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said the state's vote-by-mail restrictions are unconstitutional. After quoting the Declaration of Independence, he wrote: "Americans now seek Life without fear of pandemic, Liberty to choose their leaders in an environment free of disease and the pursuit of Happiness without undue restrictions."

Texas' election code only allows people who are over 65, out of the county, in jail or have a disability to vote by mail. The Texas Democratic Party sued state officials, arguing that fear of COVID-19 should fall under the "disability" category. The judge agreed in an injunction Tuesday, saying anxiety would hinder Texans from casting their votes in person.

Biery wrote that voters deserve "the option to choose voting by letter carrier versus voting with disease carriers." 

The ruling extends until the case goes to trial or the pandemic ends.