Nice try but no cookie. A recent attempt by a group of GOP advocates and candidates to throw out nearly 127,000 Harris County votes was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court.
According to the Texas Tribune, Harris County had a drive-thru voting location that the group felt should be considered illegal and therefore all the dropped-in votes should be invalidated. Luckily, the state’s highest civil court didn’t agree.
The decision has temporarily shut down the Republican-led group’s request. Had the court ruled in its favor it would have thrown out the early ballot voting that was cast in the drive-thru polling sites which were located in Texas’ most populous and majority Democratic county.
Surprisingly, it was an all-Republican court that made the ruling to deny the request. The same panel of judges made the same decision last month in another case that had some of the same plaintiffs.
But this hasn’t stopped the group from their mission: a similar suit has been filed in a federal court, asking once again to throw out the votes cast in the drive-thru voting polls. The Republican coalition argues that it violates the constitution. A hearing on the matter will take place one day before the election.
If the group wins their day in court, then the votes will be rejected, and this will constitute a monumental disenfranchisement of voters using this voting poll method which accounts for about 1o percent of all in-person ballots cast in Harris County during the early voting period.
Harris County, located in Houston, wanted to make the upcoming election voting process easier for its residents by setting up 10 drive-thru locations. Prior to the presidential election, officials tested the method during the July primary runoff. There was little criticism, but now as political tension rises, specifically in key states like Texas, some determined people are doing whatever they can to put who they want in office.
The pull and vote process seems pretty legit: voters pull up, confirm their registration and identity, and vote using an electronic tablet without even getting out of the car. But litigious conservative Steven Hotze, and Harris County Republicans state Rep. Steve Toth, Wendell Champion, and Sharon Hemphill fought to declare it illegal, claiming that drive-thru voting should only be a benefit to those with disabilities.
Apparently, this curbside voting method falls under a Texas election law that mandates voting accessibility to those who are “physically disable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health.” It seems like the group feels this is too much of an advantage to those who aren’t disabled, but really it’s a form of voter suppression.
Harris County defends itself by differentiating the difference between its drive-thru locations and its curbside locations, saying the two are separate polling places made for all voters. Notably, it would be unethical to offer this method of voting, have hundreds of thousands vote there, and then reject their votes because it has been deemed illegal a little too late.