Today, the Texas Democratic Party petitioned the United States Supreme Court to ensure that all Texans can exercise their fair and equal right to vote. Texas law currently allows voters who will be 65 or older on Election Day to vote by mail. This means nearly everyone else will be forced to cast a ballot in person on Election Day.
For decades, Republicans in Texas have been making it harder for Texans to vote. They have introduced discriminatory voter ID legislation, used their legislative power to draw maps that actively dilute the voting power of communities of color, and have attempted to purge voters from the rolls based on debunked claims and prejudiced logic.
Under the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, no citizen over the age of 18 can be denied the right to vote on account of their age. The issue in the case Garcia v. Abbott, is whether Texas is discriminating against voters by restricting vote by mail accessibility.
“We started this case promising Texas voters that we’d never stop fighting for their right to vote. Today, we are continuing our promise by petitioning the United States Supreme Court to provide all Texans their free, fair, and equal right to vote,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party. “We have not — and never will — stand by as Republicans discriminate against hard-working Texans trying to cast their ballot.”
The three individual plaintiffs, in this case, are individuals who will be under the age of 65 on Election Day but would otherwise prefer to apply for a mail-in ballot.
Specifically, plaintiffs are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to:
- Immediately lift the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay, which would leave Judge Fred Biery’s opinion in place that allows any Texan “who seek[s] to vote by mail to avoid transmission of the [COVID-19] virus” to vote by mail.
- Grant certiorari and agree to hear the case in the fall on the merits of the claim that Texas’ vote-by-mail restrictions violate the 26th Amendment.
When Republicans erect unjust barriers meant to hinder Texans from voting, Democrats will work to deconstruct those unconstitutional hurdles. In a democracy, eligible voters shouldn’t have to jump through partisan hoops to exercise their constitutional rights. Expanding access to the ballot box is a fight Democrats will never back away from.