Texas Vote-by-Mail Hearing Continues in 353rd Court
Morning testimony from Glen Maxey and medical experts
By Michael King,
1:15PM, Wed. Apr. 15, 2020
The state lawsuit addressing Vote-by-Mail filed by the Texas Democratic Party is in noon recess. Morning testimony argued state law already allows VBM for public health "disability," but need for common state standard.
A few highlights while we wait for testimony to resume at 1:15pm:
TPD primary director Glen Maxey testified that Sec. of State Ruth Hughs has provided no state direction for voting procedures under pandemic conditions beyond restating existing law on "disabiility" for VBM. Without a common state standard, said Maxey, every county and local prosecutor will have different interpretation.
Epidemiologist Dr. Cathy Troisi testified that preventing infection during in-person voting high risk to voters and especially election workers. VBM much safer (virtually no risk) and risk will persist through summer into November.
Geriatrician Dr. Mitchell Carroll testified risk very high for his patients (two infected, one died this morning). Echoes much of Troisi testimony.
Attorneys for state suggest in cross-examination that different regions have different risks, perhaps need for different standards, and that state policy is a legislative matter. Will argue against court jurisdiction this afternoon.
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir may testify this afternoon, unless counsel decides to rely on her submitted declaration.
This is the state lawsuit, and focuses on existing state VBM disability law. Federal lawsuit with broader implications to come later. See "Texas Democrats file Second Vote-by-Mail Suit," April 7.