May 5, 2020
by Woot Lervisit
Last week, I applied for a mail-in ballot on the grounds of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also last week, Attorney General Ken Paxton released publicly a deceptive letter about COVID-19 mail-in ballots threatening criminal charges of election fraud. In his letter, Mr. Paxton ignored the pertinent legal issue of physical immunity from COVID-19. Instead, Mr. Paxton created and attacked a strawman – the emotional fear of COVID-19.
Regrettably, Mr. Paxton’s letter has had a suppressing effect. Many voters are not applying for mail-in ballots and many organizations are not advising voters to apply for mail-in ballots because of Mr. Paxton’s threats to prosecute.
Last month the Texas Democratic Party filed lawsuits to clarify the issue of COVID-19 mail-in ballots, and in a court opinion issued last Friday, Texas Judge Tim Sulak determined that “any voters without established immunity meet the plain language definition of disability thereby entitling them to a mailed ballot under Tex. Elec. Code §82.002.”
Judge Sulak also rebuked Mr. Paxton and his fear-mongering letter. The judge ordered Mr. Paxton and his client the State of Texas from prohibiting voters from applying for mail-in ballots based on COVID-19 disability and from threatening to prosecute to voters for applying.
I do not know how Mr. Paxton’s emotional fears of Texas voters affect his understanding of plain English; he still might snake around the statute and file criminal charges against everyone.
But Mr. Paxton’s attacks against our elections will not deter me. I plan to vote by mail, and I will encourage other voters to apply for COVID-19 mail-in ballots.
Woot Lervisit, Texas voter
[Ed. Note: Additional information about Ken Paxton’s letter and the Texas Democratic Party lawsuit can be found at https://www.vox.com/2020/4/17/21223994/texas-disenfranchise-millions-ken-paxton-physical-condition-democratic-party-debeauvoir. Information about how to vote can be found below.]