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Court continues halt on expanding mail voting in Texas

Texas

FILE – In this Nov. 1, 2016, file photo, mail-in ballots for the 2016 General Election are shown at the elections ballot center at the Salt Lake County Government Center, in Salt Lake City. As President Donald Trump rails against voting by mail, many members of his own political party are embracing it to keep their voters safe during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday continued to keep on hold any expansion of mail voting in Texas, where President Donald Trump has cheered on a fight against relaxing balloting rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is not the last word on the matter, but it stops for now a lower-court ruling that had opened the door for Texas’ 16 million registered voters to cast ballots by mail. The case remains before the court with primary runoff elections in Texas, which are set for July 14, now less than six weeks away.

Trump has railed against mail voting in recent months, arguing on Twitter that there is “NO WAY” that expanding the practice “will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.”

But voting fraud is rare, and Twitter took the extraordinary step of attaching fact-checking notices that infuriated the president.

Last month, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a lack of immunity to the coronavirus doesn’t qualify someone to cast a ballot by mail. That ruling that has left Democrats to pine their hopes on the federal courts.

Both Republicans and Democrats have said they expect the fight to ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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