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Texans Are Suing Gov. Abbott To Expand Mail-In Voting During Pandemic

The Texas Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to force the state to expand vote-by-mail access during the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas Democrats are pushing to allow mail-in ballots for the May 2 and May 26 elections, which are likely to take place as residents wait out the worst of the outbreak, possibly under shelter-in-place orders.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement: “As we face the worst public health crisis in a century, neither Governor Abbott nor Secretary of State Hughs have issued concrete guidance to county election officials on whether voters can cast a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Republicans have long opposed expanded mail-in voting and the introduction of online registration and same-day voter registration. Critics argue the party worries lowering barriers to voting will boost turnout for low-income, minority and young voters, who tend to skew Democratic.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin held elections, despite health officials’ urging to postpone. The conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court voted Monday to reject the Democratic Governor’s decision to postpone those contests.

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