A Texas judge ruled Friday that all voters in the state could vote by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Texas Tribune reported.
The ruling, from District Judge Tim Sulak, expected since Wednesday but officially issued Friday afternoon, was quickly appealed by the office of Republican state Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to CNN.
Sulak reasoned that the public health threat of COVID-19 was enough for all Texans to qualify for absentee ballots.
He cited the state’s mail-in ballot disability requirement, which says that people may vote absentee in case of “a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health.”
Sulak decided that the worldwide pandemic caused a “likelihood… of injuring the voter’s health.”
Paxton, meanwhile, stuck to the boilerplate Republican concerns about election security, CNN reported. He didn’t cite any evidence for these fears, probably because there isn’t any.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently postponed several run-off elections in the state from May 26 to July 14 because of coronavirus.
So far, the only state to force people to vote in person in the middle of the pandemic has been Wisconsin on April 7.