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US: Texas court blocks Houston from mail-in voting

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Wednesday to block Harris County, which includes the state’s most populous city, Houston, from sending mail-in ballot applications to voters in the upcoming Nov. 3 presidential election.

The ruling cited risks in mail-in ballots and now prevents the county from sending 2.4 million ballot applications to voters who preferred to vote by mail instead of going to polls because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"For more than a century, the Texas Legislature has been both engaged and cautious in allowing voting by mail," the court said in its decision.

"There are concerns that mail-in ballots can be marked fraudulently without the voters’ knowledge or consent and harvested -- returned by someone else, sometimes in bulk," it added.

Despite its tradition as a Republican state, Texas could become a swing state in this year’s presidential election.

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are currently tied at 48% in Texas, according to a poll conducted Oct. 3-6 by data analytics company Civiqs.

The Lone Star state has more than 16.6 million registered voters, including 1.5 million new voters since the last presidential election in 2016.


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