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All Texans can vote by mail after judge rules absentee ballot restrictions are illegal

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Greg Abbott speaks to Fox News on Feb. 1, 2015. (screen grab)

A federal judge on Tuesday opened a path for a massive expansion in absentee voting in Texas by ordering that all state voters regardless of age qualify for a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.

Days after two hour preliminary injunction hearing in San Antonio, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed with individual Texas voters and the Texas Democratic Party that voters would face irreparable harm if existing age eligibility rules for voting by mail remain in place for elections held while the coronavirus remains in wide circulation. Under his order, which will surely be appealed, voters under the age of 65 who would ordinarily not qualify for a mail-in ballot would now be eligible.

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In the federal lawsuit, the Texas Democrats argued that holding traditional elections under the circumstances brought on by the coronavirus pandemic would impose unconstitutional and illegal burdens on voters unless state law was clarified to expand who can qualify to vote by mail.

They focused, in part, on the state’s eligibility rules that limit absentee voting based on age to those who are 65 or older. They argued that rule violated the U.S. Constitution because it would impose additional burdens on voters who are younger than 65 during the pandemic, and Biery agreed.

In ruling against the state, Biery cast aside arguments made by the Texas attorney general’s office that he should wait until a case in state district court is fully adjudicated. In that case, state District Judge Tim Sulak ruled that susceptibility to the coronavirus counts as a disability under the state election code. That ruling was put on hold by the Texas Supreme Court last week.

by Alexa Ura


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2020 Election

Lots of red hats — but not many COVID masks — at Bedminster ‘Cops for Trump’ event with the president

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Enhanced unemployment benefits have expired and there is still no deal on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, but the president of the United States left Washington, DC on Friday for yet another weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

"This weekend’s trip to Trump National Bedminster is the president’s 23rd since taking office, and will increase his golf-related taxpayer tab to $142 million in travel and security expenses," HuffPost White House corresponded S.V. Dáte reported Friday. "Trump has already spent 268 days on golf courses that he owns in his 1,303 days in office, of which 85 have been at Bedminster."

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2020 Election

Trump declares that Fox News is ‘no longer the big deal’ in the 2020 presidential campaign

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Donald Trump on Friday reflected on what he sees as the key differences between his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

"The biggest difference between the Presidential Race in 2020 and that of 2016 is the 2016 candidate, Crooked Hillary Clinton, was much smarter and sharper than Slow Joe, we have even more ENTHUSIASM now, and [Fox News] has become politically correct and no longer the big deal!" Trump tweeted after arriving at his Bedminster Golf Club for the weekend.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by the network and its polls, which gave him more bad news on Thursday.

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2020 Election

‘Very good news’: Law prof praises Kentucky’s bipartisan compromise to allow everyone to vote by mail

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The state of Kentucky was praised on Friday after a bipartisan agreement was reached to expand voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Any Kentucky voter wary of the risk of COVID-19 will be able to vote in the Nov. 3 general election by mailing in an absentee ballot. Voters will also have the option of casting a ballot in person during the three weeks leading up to the election, or waiting until Election Day," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday.

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