Over 100,000 votes may be invalidated according to a Texas Court
Republicans claim that Harris Country Clerk Chris Hollins illegally offered curbside voting
The Texas Supreme Court, Harris County officials, and voting advocates are in a battle over the validity of drive-thru votes that were cast during the 2020 Presidential election.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the courts drew serious attention on Friday after directing Harris County to respond to a petition that was created to “invalidate more than 117,000 votes cast in drive-thru lanes.”
The court’s interest in pursuing this came as an “unwelcome surprise to voting advocates and Harris County officials who were banking on a quick dismissal of the petition,” according to the Austin-based publication.
The new petition was filed last Tuesday by state Rep. Steve Toth, GOP activist Steven Hotze and two Republican candidates in Harris County.
A week prior, the same court dismissed two petitions seeking to block 10 drive-thru voting stations that were available in a Democratic section of Harris County.
In that petition, the Republication Party accused Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins of using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to “illegally offer curbside voting to every voter in the state’s most populous community,” according to the Oct. 22 Statesman article.
Harris County’s population is about 40% Hispanic and nearly 20% African American, according to a Harris County Community Profile.
Many now fear that the court may easily be able to toss out “tens of thousands of ballots” after they gave Harris County a tight deadline of 4 p.m. on Friday to file a legal brief in response to the petition.
“It takes only one justice on the nine-member court to request a response to a petition, and there is no way of knowing how many justices were interested in Harris County’s response because the court does not disclose that information,” according to the Statesman.
Austin lawyer C. Robert Heath argued in a memo prepared for Harris County that the state laws are to be in favor of protecting the right to vote and that drive-thru voting isn’t illegal.
“If a court or other authority were to decide to invalidate those votes, it would require ignoring or overruling more than a century of Texas law,” Heath said.
According to the Huffington Post, the case is expected to go before conservative Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court on Monday morning.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!