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Texas Republicans Try To Invalidate More Than 100,000 Drive-Thru Votes In Harris County

A small group has issued a legal challenge in the state's largest and mostly Democratic county.

A small group has issued a legal challenge in the state's largest and mostly Democratic county.

If they're successful, nearly 127,000 people will be disenfranchised. They're also asking that all ballots at those voting locations be thrown out. Their case will be heard on Monday.

Source: Texas Tribune

For 18 days of early voting, Harris County residents waited in line, had their identities verified by poll workers, and cast their votes in a presidential election that has seen record-breaking early turnout.

But for the nearly 127,000 people who did so at drive-thru polling places instead of in traditional indoor sites, many are now watching with fear as a wealthy conservative activist, a Republican state representative and two GOP candidates aim to throw out their ballots at the last minute. In the state’s most populous — and largely Democratic — county, drive-thru voters are left anxiously awaiting court decisions before Election Day on Tuesday that could force them to go back to the polls. Likely many more are unaware of their votes' potential demise.

The Republican legal effort could jeopardize 10% of the in-person early votes that were cast at 10 drive-thru polling places throughout the county — a vote count higher than the entire early vote total in Nueces County, home of Corpus Christi and the state's 16th most populous county.

Two lawsuits by the group of plaintiffs have been filed in recent days after a similar challenge was already rejected by the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court.

And who are these people?

The plaintiffs, all Republicans, are conservative activist Steven Hotze, state Rep. Steve Toth of The Woodlands, congressional candidate Wendell Champion and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill. They argue that the county’s new drive-thru voting sites are an illegal expansion of curbside voting and violate Texas election law and the U.S. Constitution.

UPDATE: Denied at the state level.

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