And stay out!
First, the Texas state Supreme Court said ‘no.’ Then, a federal District Court judge said ‘no.’
Now, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has said ‘no’ to a bid by Texas Republicans to block Election Day drive-through voting in Harris County.
In a terse order, the three-judge panel wrote: “It is ordered that appellants’ motion for injunctive relief to issue a preliminary injunction banning drive-thru voting on Election Day, November 3, 2020, is denied.” No explanation was given.
The move is yet another loss for Texas Republicans who had sought to challenge the legality of some 127,000 votes cast at drive-through voting sites in the Houston area.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen threw out that suit, ruling the plaintiffs don’t have legal standing to sue. The Texas Supreme Court dismissed a similar challenge on Sunday.
Harris County, Texas’ most populous county and majority Democratic, erected 10 drive-through sites, mostly tents, to expedite the early voting process as a way of allowing people to cast ballots safely during the coronavirus pandemic. They were also in place this summer before the state’s primary.
Noting that point, Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, asked plaintiffs, “Why am I just getting this case?” He later said that the suit was not timely and that “this has been going on all summer.”
Harris County Clerk Christopher Hollins decided to shut down 9 of the ten Election Day drive-thru voting sites out of concern that the votes could later be thrown out via ongoing legal challenges filed by Republicans.