Texas Supreme Court rejects GOP bid to void 127,000 votes


The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday rejected a GOP bid to void more than 100,000 votes in largely-Democratic Harris County.

The state’s all-Republican Supreme Court issued an opinion without comment two days before the election that denied Republicans' request to throw out almost 127,000 ballots cast at drive-thru early voting locations in Houston.

The court had denied a similar lawsuit last month.

But Sunday’s court ruling does not definitively resolve the matter since a federal judge will hear a similar case from the same group of Republicans in an emergency hearing on Monday. 

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, committed on Friday to hearing the case which could result in about 10 percent of all in-person early voting ballots in the county not counting. 

Both lawsuits revolve around Harris County’s creation of 10 drive-thru locations for residents to vote while staying in their cars instead of entering polling places and potentially spreading or catching coronavirus. 

The Republican plaintiffs, which include conservative activist Steve Hotze and state Rep. Steven Toth, argued that the drive-thru locations violated the U.S. constitution and were illegal under Texas election law. They said Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins (D) exceeded his authority by setting up the drive-thru stations. 

Texas law permits curbside voting in Harris County for voters with a disability, but the drive-thru polls are open to all voters. Hollins has requested Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to declare the drive-thru locations legal, Abbott has not answered, The Associated Press reported. 

Democratic groups called the Republican effort “wholly unreasonable” in a statement on Friday as part of a motion asking to intervene in the case, according to Reuters. 

Tensions are high in Texas as the historically Republican stronghold has become a key battleground state in the 2020 election, as Democratic Joe Biden has made gains on President Trump. The president won Texas by nine points in 2016.

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