Texas voters are back to facing limits on places to drop off their absentee ballots while a federal appeals court considers whether Republican Gov. Greg Abbot violated voting rights by his decision to provide Texas voters with only one ballot drop-off location per county for the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Late Saturday the appeals court lifted an injunction granted Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman.
Abbott said the limit on ballot boxes was meant to discourage voter fraud. His order was issued after multiple ballot box locations had been set up and the dropping off of ballots had begun.
Pitman wrote in his 46-page decision, “By limiting ballot return centers to one per county, older and disabled voters living in Texas's largest and most populous counties must travel further distances to more crowded ballot return centers where they would be at an increased risk of being infected by the coronavirus in order to exercise their right to vote and have it counted.”
Voting rights activists have argued that Abbott’s decision was a move to suppress the vote.
The U.S. has a long history of absentee ballot voting, but this year Republican President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers have vehemently opposed it.