A lawsuit filed Monday by five Texas voters with medical conditions — the NAACP-Texas, Voto Latino and the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans — outlines four requirements they claim violate Texan voters’ constitutional rights in the midst of a pandemic. While limits on who can vote by mail are currently being challenged in Texas courts, this particular case, filed in Federal Court in the Western District of the San Antonio division, argues the legal framework of the bill itself places an undue burden on the right to vote and risks disenfranchising thousands of Texans.
The first challenge brought in the lawsuit alleges that the current law which requires voters to pay postage to return mail-in ballots is a poll tax, which was proclaimed unconstitutional with the 24th Amendment, and was designed to dissuade Texans from participating in the voting process during times of economic hardship brought on by COVID-19. Second, plaintiffs argue deadlines for ballots to be forwarded and received are too narrow and should be extended. Currently, ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m. Election Day and received by 5 p.m. the following day.
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