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Local politicos challenge some 127,000 Harris County drive-thru votes

Local politicos challenge some 127,000 Harris County drive-thru votes

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Some 127,000 drive-thru votes in Harris County are being challenged by local activists.  IssueVoter/Facebook

UPDATE: A federal judge has ruled against a bid to invalidate 127,000 Harris County ballots cast by drive-thru early voting, ABC 13 reports.

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A federal hearing on Monday, November 2 could determine the fate of nearly 127,000 votes cast in Harris County.

One day before Election Day, local Republicans are contesting the validity of early drive-thru balloting in the county. Republicans Steven Hotze, Steve Toth, congressional candidate Wendell Champion, and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill argue that the drive-thru program, under state election law, should only be available for voters with disabilities.

As CultureMap news partner ABC13 notes, the same argument had been made in an unsuccessful previous legal challenge from Hotze and Hemphill — along with the Harris County Republican Party — filed at the state Supreme Court hours before early voting began.

Over the weekend, an all-Republican court denied the request without an order or opinion, as justices did last month in a similar lawsuit brought by some of the same plaintiffs.

“Unless stopped, illegal votes will be cast and counted in direct violation of the Texas Election Code and the United States Constitution and result in the integrity of elections in Harris County being compromised,” the petition to the court said.

Curbside voting, long available under Texas election law, requires workers at every polling place to deliver onsite curbside ballots to voters who are “physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter's health.” Posted signs at polling sites notify voters to ring a bell, call a number, or honk to request curbside assistance, ABC13 adds.

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