Austin, TX — Today, Judge Fred Biery of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas granted the Texas Democratic Party’s motion for preliminary injunction in the vote-by-mail lawsuit enabling counties to permit the use of absentee ballots due to COVID-19 and preventing Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton from threatening the prosecution of voters.
In the order, Judge Biery wrote: “Americans now seek Life without fear of pandemic, Liberty to choose their leaders in an environment free of disease and the pursuit of Happiness without undue restrictions.”
“There are now some among us who would, if they could, nullify those aspirational ideas to return to the not so halcyon and not so thrilling days of yesteryear of the Divine Right of Kings.”
“‘We the People’ . . . deserve to have a safe and unfettered vote to say [which leaders] we get.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Judge Biery put it best: ‘One’s right to vote should not be elusively based on the whims of nature. Citizens should have the option to choose voting by letter carrier versus voting with disease carriers.’
“Today is a victory for all Texans. The right to vote is central to our democracy. This ruling means eligible voters can vote by mail during this pandemic. It is time for a few state officers to stop trying to force people to expose themselves to COVID-19 in order to vote.
“The Texas Legislature provided for these circumstances by statute allowing voters to vote by mail when they have a physical condition that makes it dangerous for them to do so. That’s why we fought in court on behalf of voters.
“Our state is better off when more Texans participate in our democracy. Voting by mail is safe, secure, and accessible. It allows more voters to participate, and it’s a commonsense way to run an election, especially during a public health crisis.”