Texas Early Voting Brings Lawsuits And Record Turnout

Nov 2, 2020

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

TEXAS EARLY VOTING - The Texas Supreme Court has denied a petition by Texas Republicans to throw out some 127,000 ballots cast through drive-thru voting in the Houston area.  But there are multiple legal challenges ahead for that ruling.    A federal hearing set for this morning with  the same Republicans who will once again argue that drive-thru voting is illegal.  Harris County Assistant Attorney Douglas Ray says he expects Republicans will make the same arguments they’ve made so far.

Ray explained their argument will likely be “that is that drive-thru voting is actually curbside voting and its only authorized for those with disabilities.“  

Many  official, including some Republicans,  have called the last-minute challenges an attempt to throw out legitimate votes.    Texas has seen record breaking early voting turnout this year  as roughly 57% of registered voters have already cast their ballots already surpassing  totals on election day in 2016

"If we see election day hit the same level that occured in the past, then Texas is going to see phenomenal voter turnout," Mark Owens, Assistant Professor - Political Science, UT-Tyler

Mark Owens is assistant professor of Political Science at University of Texas at Tyler.  He says that while Texas Counties with large populations have seen record early voting,  the  trend is happening all across Texas.

Mark Owens, assistant professor - Political Sciences Dept. UT at Tyler
Credit Courtesy: M. Owens, UT-Tyler

"1.9 million more registered voters in Texas then there were four years ago," Owens said. "So every county is going to exceed  and see new records of early voting."

Texas had added more days to accommodate early voting and with such a large early turnout, analysts are eager to see how many voters show up at the polls on Tuesday.  Even though Texas is a long-time GOP stronghold,  polls reveal it has emerged as a battleground state with both presidential candidates falling within the margin of error.   Professor Owens suggests Tuesday’s voter turnout could be historic.

"If we see election day hit the same level that occured in the past, then Texas is going to see phenomenal voter turnout," Owens said.