As Texas Democrats battle in court to allow Texans to vote by mail during the pandemic, another group of voters backed by Democrats has initiated a federal lawsuit of their own to try and do away with age restrictions that only allow those 65 and older to vote by mail in the state.
“While the Absentee Ballot Age Restriction would be unconstitutional under any event, in the current circumstances, its application is unconscionable,” argues the lawsuit, filed in San Antonio by a group of young voters represented by the National Redistricting Foundation, an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
“As a global pandemic unprecedented in our times infects thousands more Texans daily and shows few signs of abating, the Absentee Ballot Age Restriction is highly likely to operate in the coming July 2020 primary runoff and November general election to force millions of voters into an untenable position, choosing whether to forego their most fundamental right or having no choice but to vote in person, at what are likely to be understaffed and overcrowded polling places, putting their own health at risk, and needlessly exacerbating the spread of the virus,” the lawsuit continues.
“Having opted to make mail in voting an option for voters in Texas, Defendants may not constitutionally choose to restrict access to the franchise to voters for no other reason than the fact that they are 18 years old, 25 years old, or 64-and-a-half years old. Period,” the lawsuit argues.
The litigation comes two weeks after Democrats won a court battle to allow Texans to vote by mail during the pandemic, although that ruling is now being appealed and it is not certain Texans will be able to vote by mail on July 14, the date of the rescheduled Texas primary runoff.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org