October 03, 2020

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans Sues State of Texas

Says Abbott Proclamation Limiting Ballot Return Locations Creates Undue Burden to Voting

AUSTIN – The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas last night challenging Governor Abbott’s proclamation limiting the number of locations where voters can hand-deliver mail-in ballots to one per county.

The Proclamation effectively closes additional ballot return locations throughout the state and forces thousands of older voters to choose between protecting their health or casting a ballot they know will be counted.

The plaintiffs are asking the District Court to:

  • Declare the Ballot Return Restriction Proclamation unconstitutional, and that county election administrators may establish multiple locations where voters may return their marked mail-in ballots to secured ballot drop-off locations; and
  • Prohibit the state of Texas from taking any action to inhibit election administrators from offering drop-off locations.

“This is blatant voter suppression and changing the rules after voting has started. Governor Abbott’s last-minute proclamation does nothing to enhance the security of the election. It only eliminates a method of voting that allows voters to cast a ballot they know will be counted without putting their health at risk,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “It is a slap in the face to older Texans, who have suffered so much during this pandemic.”

“The court must protect our right to vote. So many of our members are counting on returning their ballots in person,” said Anthony Padilla, President of the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans.

The complaint notes that for many voters who will vote by mail, the nearest drop-off location will now be dozens or even hundreds of miles away, forcing those voters to travel long distances to deliver their ballots to their county’s election administration or to put their ballots in the care of the Postal Service which has informed the state that Texas election mail will be delayed.

A copy of the complaint is here.

This year the Alliance for Retired Americans, working with its state chapters, has filed lawsuits to protect vote by mail and absentee voters in Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in addition to Texas.


Contact: Lisa Cutler, lcutler@retiredamericans.org

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