Appeals court blocks ruling on Texas straight-ticket voting

Talk 1370 Newsroom
September 29, 2020 - 8:58 am
Vote Here voting sign

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AUSTIN ( -- A ruling that would have required Texas election officials to make straight-ticket voting available for the November 3 election has been temporarily blocked.

A federal appeals court on Monday issued a temporary stay in the case, blocking a ruling from U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo of Laredo.

"The longer voters stand in line, the greater the risk that they contract COVID-19. Texans already wait a long time to exercise their right to vote," Marmolejo wrote in an order released late Friday.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the stay in the case, noting that straight-ticket voting is not allowed in 43 other states. "I commend the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for granting our request for an administrative stay," Paxton said in a statement. "I will not stand by when the integrity of our election process is threatened. The 2020 general election is already underway. Any changes to the process now could jeopardize the fair and accurate administration of the election."

Additional developments in the case are expected later this week. Early voting is set to begin on October 13, giving alarm to county election officials who have already been working on verifying ballots and voting machines.

House Bill 25, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017, was hailed as an effort to encourage voters to become more informed about all of the races on the ballot, and help to reduce the chance that propositions and non-partisan races further down the ballot would be ignored by those who only vote a straight ticket.

In the 2018 mid-term election, more than 5.6 million Texans - about two-thirds of the ballots cast - cast a straight-ticket ballot.

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