AG Paxton appeals judge’s ruling against limit to mail-in ballot drop-off locations

Texas

FILE – In this file photo, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a hearing in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an emergency appeal in a bid to overturn a court ruling blocking Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting counties to one mail-in ballot drop-off location.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman granted an injunction barring the governor’s order, saying it would create confusion and burden voters.

In response, Paxton has now filed an emergency motion that his office hopes will block the district court order.

Gov. Abbott’s Oct. 1 proclamation – that people voting by mail must deliver their ballots to just a single location in each county – “enhances ballot security,” Paxton said.

“Mail-in ballots are particularly vulnerable to fraud,” he said in a statement.

“Protections that ensure their security must be upheld and my office will continue to fight for safe, free and fair elections.”

Judge Pitman said that Abbott issued his order when voting was already under way.

It would cause confusion and place a weight on some to travel far distances and wait in long lines – burdens that “fall disproportionately” on more vulnerable voters, he said.

Both county officials and groups looking to empower voters have previously voiced their displeasure about Abbott’s order.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir called the order “deliberately disruptive,” saying it came at an inconvenient time. Travis County Elections had to shut down two other drop-off locations after the order was put through as a result.

“We have all had since July 27, when the original order came out for this project,” DeBeauvoir said on Oct. 1. “He could have said that he had a problem with it at any time up until just today.”

The Travis County Clerk’s Office said it was “grateful” for the court ruling.

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