Federal appeals court sides with Texas attorney general, blocks mail-in voting ruling

Texas AG Ken Paxton appealed ruling to U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a preliminary injunction issued by a district judge on Tuesday that would have allowed all voters in Texas to qualify for mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

The appellate court on Wednesday sided with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who appealed the ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery.

“I applaud the Fifth Circuit for issuing this temporary stay while the case proceeds," Paxton said in a news release.

“Law established by the Legislature must be followed consistently, including carefully limiting who may and may not vote by mail," Paxton continued.

The three-judge panel granted an administrative stay, which stops Biery’s ruling from taking effect while they consider if they will issue an injunction to nullify the ruling during the entire appeals process.

READ MORE: Federal appeals court temporarily blocks voting by mail expansion in Texas

Paxton said in another news release that “mail-in ballots are vulnerable to fraud.”

“Two thirds of all election fraud cases prosecuted by my office involved mail fraud, also known as ‘vote harvesting,’” the release said.

AG Paxton asks Texas Supreme Court to step into fight over voting by mail

On Tuesday, Biery said the following in his ruling: “The court finds the grim reaper’s scepter of pandemic disease or death is far more serious than an unsupported fear of voter fraud."

“Indeed if vote by mail fraud is real, it dictates that all voting should be in person," Biery continued.

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