Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court letter brief and mandamus petition at the Texas Supreme Court, urging the court to extend its order prohibiting Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins from sending out more than two million unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to all registered Harris County Voters, many of whom do not qualify to vote by mail.
“The Harris County Clerk must not be allowed to circumvent the careful limits the Constitution places on county officials’ authority. This blatant violation of law undermines our election security and integrity and cannot stand,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Instead of protecting the integrity of our democratic process, the Harris County Clerk has decided to knowingly violate Texas election law and create voter confusion on the cusp of a general election.”
Texas law requires the clerk to send mail-in ballot applications to voters who specifically request them, and reserves mail-in ballots for a few limited categories of qualified voters, including those who are age 65 and older and voters who are disabled. The proposed mass mailing would sow confusion because applications would go to all registered voters, regardless of whether they legally qualify or even want to vote by mail.