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Texas Supreme Court: Oral Arguments on Harris County’s Plan to Send Mail Ballot Applications to All Voters

  • October 5, 2020


On Sept. 11, a district judge ruled in State of Texas vs. Chris Hollins that the state of Texas may not prevent Chris Hollins, the Harris County Clerk, from sending election materials and resources, including ballot-by-mail applications, to all of the county’s registered voters. The state appealed the decision, and on Sept. 18 the Fourteenth Court of Appeals reaffirmed the denial of the state’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case. The state then appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas.

The Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the Texas NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region (ADLSW) – represented by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and Dechert LLP – submitted briefs in support of Harris County at the District Court and the Appeals Court levels. The briefs argued that by sending ballot-by-mail applications to all registered voters, Harris County will provide easier access to a safe method of voting for high-risk populations for COVID-19. It would also benefit voters by encouraging those who are eligible for mail ballots to submit their applications early, reducing the likelihood of surges in applications that could slow down processing, and by providing accurate information and guidance to voters.

On Sept. 25, the groups filed a brief with the Supreme Court of Texas in support of Hollins ahead of oral arguments, which took place on Sept. 30.

Click here for the full list of related documents and to read more background about the case.