By Hallum Cowell | Deputy Editor
A new decision from the American Appeals Court has upheld Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to limit mail in ballot drop boxes to one per country. The decision was ruled on Monday, October 12, by judges all appointed by incumbent President Donald Trump.
In the US electoral system voters can post in their votes through the postal service or deliver the letter to a drop in box within their county.
Governor Abbot had made the directive that only one drop off point would be opened per state on October 5, however, after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an emergency motion on Saturday, October 10, the decision was taken to court
By limiting the number of drop off points to one per county voters will have to travel large distances to cast their votes this way. For example, if you live in the outer areas of Harris County in Texas, the county which contains state capital Houston, you will have to travel up to 47 miles. Harris County is a huge county, clocking in at nearly 2,000 square miles with a population of roughly 2.4 million eligible voters.
Abbott argues that the restrictions are needed to prevent voter fraud although critics argue that this type of fraud is very rare. Texas restricts mail in ballots to people who are over 65, have a disability or will be outside of the US during the election period. Ironically, these groups of people are often those who find it the most difficult to travel long distances.
As the election draws nearer Texas is, somewhat surprisingly, swinging to the Democrats with polling as of October 14 showing the Republicans holding 51% of the vote share and the Democrats on 48.1%.
This election is shaping up to be mired by controversy and legal debate as arguments over the eligibility of mail in ballots, with President Trump especially questioning their validity, could lead to election night becoming election months.
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