Speed Reads

absentee voting

Texas counties can have multiple ballot drop-off locations, federal judge rules

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled late Friday night that Texas counties can have multiple drop-off locations for absentee ballots this election cycle, striking down an order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that limited drop-off locations to one per county, a decision that he said was made to increase election security. The ruling comes just days after another federal judge blocked a similar order in Ohio.

Democrats had accused Abbott — who has opposed universal mail-in voting during the pandemic, but did extend early in-person and absentee voting — of trying to suppress the vote. While Pitman's ruling didn't make that specific claim, it did say Abbott's order placed an extra burden on older and disabled Texas voters in the state's larger counties who "must travel further distances to more crowded ballot return centers where they would be at an increased risk of being infected by the coronavirus."

Texas may appeal the ruling, NPR reports. Read more at NPR and The Texas Tribune.