Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a lawsuit against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins for sending unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to over two million Harris County registered voters in blatant violation of Texas election laws. Under Texas election law, mail-in ballots are reserved for a few limited categories of qualified voters who are age 65 and older and voters who are disabled. Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that fear of contracting COVID-19 does not qualify as a “disability” and mail-in ballots must be preserved for qualifying groups. The Harris County Clerk’s proposed mass mailing would sow confusion because applications would go to all registered voters, regardless of whether they legally qualify to vote a mail ballot and regardless of whether they even want to vote by mail. Texas law requires the clerk to send applications to voters who specifically request them.
“Election officials have a duty to reject mail-in ballot applications from voters who are not eligible to vote by mail. Unfortunately, instead of protecting the integrity of our democratic process, the Harris County Clerk decided to knowingly violate election laws by preparing to send over two million ballot applications to many Texans who do not qualify and have not requested to vote by mail,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This blatant violation of law undermines our election security and integrity and cannot stand. I will continue to fight for safe, fair, and legal elections across the state.”
Read a copy of the lawsuit here.