The plaintiffs, former Democratic state senate candidate Kendall Scudder and attorney Woot Lervisit, accuse Paxton of intentionally misleading election officials regarding mail-in ballots.
In April, State District Judge Tim Sulak of Travis County ruled that Texas voters concerned about catching COVID-19 can vote by mail. Paxton immediately appealed Sulak’s decision and sent a letter to election officials saying that the ruling was stayed due to the appeal. He even threatened to criminally prosecute officials who advised mail-in ballots for those not “physically disabled.”
However, the plaintiffs argue that Sulak’s ruling is still in effect and Paxton was willfully dishonest in his letter. Intentionally misleading election officials is a violation of the state’s election code.
“Attorney General Ken Paxton’s letter intentionally misled Texas elections officials about eligibility to vote by mail,” said Scudder. “Mail-in ballots aren’t where the election fraud is happening, it’s happening in the office of our indicted attorney general.”
This is not the first time the Texas attorney general has been accused of fraud. In 2015, a grand jury indicted Paxton for securities fraud. According to court documents, Paxton allegedly raised over $800,000 from investors for a tech company and received 100,000 shares in return that he did not disclose. Paxton claims that the shares were a “gift” but the S.E.C. says that they were actually a sales commission. For some reason, the case still has not gone to trial after nearly five years later.
The lawsuit was filed just days before Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court for a ruling on his crusade against mail ballots. Paxton is fighting against local governments who he says have incorrectly interpreted the Texas Election Code by allowing voters to file absentee or mail-in ballots out of fear of COVID-19 exposure.
Photo: Office of the Texas Attorney General