Republicans’ latest stunt to invalidate over 125,000 already cast votes in Harris County, Texas, was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen on Nov. 2, 2020.
The case, brought by conservative activist Steven Hotze, Republican State Representative Steve Toth, congressional candidate Wendell Champion, judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill, and the Republican parties of Texas and Harris County, has lost one of two previous legal challenges.
Judge Hanen said he rejected the case based on the plaintiffs’ inability to demonstrate they would be harmed if the ballots from the drive-thru polling sites were counted. He added that if he ruled on the larger complaints would have refused to reject ballots already cast. However, he said the tents being used for the sites do not “qualify as voting inside a building” as required by Texas election law.
Moreover, he said if he were voting on Election Day, he would not use a drive-thru polling site for fear that his vote might be determined to be illegal.
The Republican plaintiffs have another case pending before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. In his ruling, he ordered Harris County to maintain all the drive-thru voting records — “just in case the 5th Circuit disagrees.”
Harris County Clerk Hollins told the Texas Tribune the drive-thru locations would be open on Election Day.
Judge Hanen ruled after hearing from the plaintiffs andHarris County officials, as well as national voting rights groups and political groups that joined the county’s assertion that the drive-thru polling sites were legal under Texas election law.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Texas-Tribune: Nearly 127,000 Harris County drive-thru votes appear safe after federal judge rejects GOP-led Texas lawsuit; by Mitchell Ferman and Emma Platoff
CNN: Federal judge sets hearing Monday on challenge to ballots from drive-thru voting in Texas’ largest county
Featured Image by Daniel Mayer Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of JoeSchmoYaKnow’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License