Days after Gov. Greg Abbott declared a statewide public health disaster over the coronavirus outbreak, Texas Democrats are calling state leaders to move from in-person voting to all mail-in ballots for the upcoming May runoff elections.
“Under the current and projected conditions involving COVID-19, it does not seem viable for Texas to hold meaningful elections in May,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement. “All eligible voters will not be able to participate in those elections with polling place-based voting. An all-mail election, in which county election officials mail a ballot to every registered voter, is the only option that guarantees Texans’ right to vote while also protecting public health.”
“The Texas Democratic Party calls for the Governor to immediately declare all mail-in ballot elections for May 2 and May 26,” Hinojosa continued. “This goes beyond party or politics, this is a matter of right and wrong.”
Already, four states — Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio —have postponed their voting because of the virus.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also said on Monday that he was supportive of universal vote-by-mail adoption being considered by various Democrats across the states.
It’s unlikely the November general will be postponed since it would require a change in federal law and the Constitution, but measures can still be taken to ensure voters can practice social distancing while casting their ballot, like mail-in voting.
Photo: Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Digital First Media/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com