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Portion of Texas absentee ballot application

Quick Update To Our Story: “Will Voters Be Able To Use COVID-19 As An ‘Excuse’ To Get An Absentee Ballot This Fall?”

A district judge in Texas says “yes”. “Not so fast”, says the state’s Attorney General.

Here’s a link to our original story. This exact question is starting to get litigated.

Texas does not have “no-excuse” absentee ballots. Although people over the age of 65 automatically qualify. So does anyone with a disability. And according to Texas election code, a disability is defined as a “sickness or physical condition” that would put the person at risk of injuring their health if they were forced to show up in person to vote.

But does fear of catching COVID-19 count? According to the Texas Tribune, the judge issued an injunction “allowing all voters who risk exposure to the Coronavirus if they vote in person to ask for a mail-in ballot under a portion of the Texas election code allowing absentee ballots for voters who cite a disability.”

Texas’ Republican Attorney General, Ken Paxton, however, expressed a very different view, saying:

“Fear of contracting COVID-19 unaccompanied by a qualifying sickness or physical condition does not constitute a disability.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky’s Republican-controlled Legislature overrode a veto by the state’s Democratic Governor, and will require government-issued photo ID from now on in order to be able to vote. What’s the problem with that? State offices right now are closed because of COVID-19, so people can’t really get a government-issued ID even if they wanted one. And even if/when they reopen, they’re sure to be tremendously backlogged.

Written by

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report"

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