Austin City Council approves resolution asking Governor to allow voting by mail during pandemic

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, the Austin City Council approved a resolution asking Governor Greg Abbott and Secretary of State Ruth Hughes to allow all Texans to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Texas Democratic Party has already sued the state of Texas asking a judge to allow any eligible voter to have the option to vote by mail.

Texas Democrats argue millions of people touching voting equipment and standing in lines creates an environment where germs could spread easily.

FULL COVERAGE: The latest coronavirus news in Austin, Texas, the United States and the world

The Governor issued an executive order last month pushing both the May election and primary runoff to July 14.

This week he said he hopes by then Texans will be able to vote in person.

“There is a state law in the state of Texas that allows people to vote in person. And that’s a state law that I don’t want to waive. But I think that people have a legal right to vote in person. And we need to try to conduct elections consistent with that,” Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this week.

But Chad Dunn, General Counsel of the Texas Democratic Party says the stance is dangerous.

“Setting up a situation where people have to risk their health to vote doesn’t get us to a place where we have free and fair elections that people can have confidence. Vote-by-mail does — and that’s why we’re pushing hard to get it.”

Right now, in order to vote by mail in Texas:

  • you must be 65 or older
  • disabled
  • away your home county for early voting and election day
  • or confined in jail but otherwise eligible.

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