A ruling by a U.S. federal judge has cleared the way for voters in the U.S. state of Texas to have multiple locations per county where they will be able to drop off their absentee ballots for the November presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman granted an injunction Friday against Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order that there would be only per one ballot drop-off location for each county. Abbott, a Republican, said the limit on ballot boxes was meant to discourage voter fraud. The order was made after the dropping off of ballots had already begun.
Pitman wrote in his 46-page decision, “By limiting ballot return centers to one per county, older and disabled voters living in Texas's largest and most populous counties must travel further distances to more crowded ballot return centers where they would be at an increased risk of being infected by the coronavirus in order to exercise their right to vote and have it counted.”
Voting rights activists have argued that Abbott’s decision was a move to suppress the vote.
The U.S. has a long history of absentee ballot voting, but this year Republican President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers have vehemently opposed it.
It was not immediately clear if Abbott will appeal the ruling.