Court shuts down GOP effort to throw out drive-thru votes in Texas

Republicans concerned about voter fraud in Texas have suffered a setback in the courts just hours before Election Day.

More than 100,000 votes cast at drive-thru stations in Texas are on track to be counted after the state’s Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge spearheaded by the GOP, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday.

Court throws out GOP petition

Republicans in many states have been pushing back against the excesses of “voter access” advocated by Democrats, with the GOP saying that Democrats have changed the rules unilaterally in many cases and in ways that could result in fraud. Democrats, citing the coronavirus pandemic, claim that any effort to put up guardrails is equal to “suppression.”

One of these fights is playing out in Harris County, the largest county in Texas, where 10 drive-thru voting stations were set up, according to a Dallas–Ft. Worth-based CBS affiliate. Republicans filed a petition to void 127,000 votes cast at these stations, arguing that they are illegal.

According to the CBS affiliate, the petition points out that nine out of the 10 locations are in Democratic areas, and that county clerk Chris Hollins ignored the U.S. Constitution when he made changes to voting that should have been left to the state legislature instead.

“Defendant Hollins’s drive-thru voting scheme violates Article I, section IV, clause 1 of the United States Constitution in that Hollins redefines the manner of conducting elections in Harris County contrary to the Texas Election Code. Additionally, Hollins violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by adopting a manner of voting in Harris County that has not been adopted by other Texas’ counties,” their petition states, according to the Washington Examiner.

Nevertheless, an all-Republican court rejected the challenge on Sunday.

Legal fights shadow Nov. 3

With time running short, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Houston will consider a similar challenge in federal court on Monday morning, according to the New York Post.

The controversy is just one of many legal fights hanging over Tuesday’s election, with similar battles over voting in key states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, as Reuters notes.

The Republican position has been most forcefully expressed by President Donald Trump, who insists that voters must know the outcome on Election Night, according to custom. Democrats have pushed to extend deadlines for returning ballots well past Election Day.

They have not always succeeded: the U.S. Supreme Court last week decided that absentee ballots in Wisconsin cannot be returned past Nov. 3, Reuters reported, and a court in Minnesota reached a similar decision, although Democrats have scored victories in North Carolina and the absolutely critical state of Pennsylvania.

Despite the incredibly high stakes of this election, Dems have shown little interest in making sure that all votes counted are legitimate. What a shame.

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