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Court Upholds TX Governor's Ballot Drop Off Location Limitations

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

TEXAS VOTING -   Early voting in Texas is already underway but voters who want to drop off their mail in ballot will have to go to one single countywide location.  The latest ruling from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court  has backed up  Governor Greg Abbott’s order to limit drop-off locations.  A three-judge panel held that Abbott’s order actually expanded voter access, rather than limiting it. The judges wrote that before Abbott’s order to expand early voting in July, voters could only drop off their mail-in ballots on Election Day itself. Danielle Lang is with the Campaign Legal Center, which tried to overturn the governor's limit on drop off locations.

“The plaintiffs are considering all their legal options right now," Lang said. "They have not come to a firm decision yet about next steps, but you can surely expect the plaintiffs to make those decisions in short order."

The plaintiffs could appeal to the 5th Circuit for a full hearing or to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the high court has shown a reluctance to get involved in similar cases with voting already underway.

Credit Courtesy: Campaign Legal Center

TEXAS COVID-19 UPDATES -   Texas ranks 2nd in the nation  for the most deaths due to Covid-19, the most recent number is close to 17,000  trailing New York with over 33,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths.  Since the coronavirus  pandemic  began,  people have been turning to socially-distant / virtual  doctor’s visits… it’s called Telemedicine and more Texans have embraced the practice.   A new survey from the Episcopal Health Foundation based in Houston  finds  39 percent of Texans have used telemedicine during the pandemic. Elena Marks is the Foundation’s President and CEO.

​"While the percentages actually are really encouraging considering how few people were using telehealth before that there's still a big divide based on income, education, age, and rural vs. urban status," Marks explained.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed say they either do not have internet access or do not know how to talk with a doctor online.  And  with flu season starting up,  the survey finds  Texans who regularly get flu shots are more likely to get a future COVID-19 vaccine.

Credit Courtesy: Episcopal Health Foundation
Courtesy: Episcopal Health Foundation

"55 percent of Texans said that they were much more or somewhat more likely to get a flu vaccine this year," said Marks  "and 59 percent said they were very or somewhat likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available." 

Marks said the Episcopal Health Foundation’s survey  also  found  Hispanic Texans are  more likely than White and Black Texans to get both vaccines.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.