#BREAKING: A federal judge in Texas has ruled that about 127,000 ballots cast in Harris County via curbside voting are valid and cannot be thrown out, despite a last-minute lawsuit on behalf of a group of Republican candidates and activists.
Too lazy to look: what was the basis for asking to reject them?
EDIT: Curiousity overcame laziness. If I’m understanding correctly, the Texas voting statute does not allow for “drive-through “voting. However, one county clerk initiated the process, and over 100,000 people voted that way.
It’s a very tough call for a judge, particularly a Republican judge. Volts where illegally cast, but through no fault of the voters. On the eve of the election, there is no way to ensure that those voters can vote again.
I think the right thing to do is to allow the votes, and fire / prosecute the clerk.
Given that it was implemented with the consent and under coordination with the Texas Secretary of State, approved by the countie's executive board, and was upheld by the Texas Supreme court, and well received by the actual populace the last bit seems unlikely.
All of that is a problem then. Laws matter, and should be followed. Individual clerks should not have the right to overrule the legislature, no matter who agrees with it. That’s the case no matter whether the clerk is refusing to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples, where is instead breaking the law to allow votes to be cast contrary to law.
I hear that. Where in the course of a decision would the judge consider that voters followed the information they were provided, and had the intent of casting a vote, and based on timing would now be unable to cast a vote? Are these factors relevant to this decision?
If I make a decision based on information provided to me by an official is it my sole responsibility to know that the official gave me incorrect information or would a judge take into account what reasonable person would do under the circumstances?
I haven’t read the decision, but from the media reports, I think this was a key factor in the judge’s decision. We hear “ignorance of the law is no excuse”, but sometimes it is.
Very generally, courts can make decisions based upon law and/or principles of what’s known as equity. From media coverage, it seems like:
1. The clerk violated the law, which was fairly unambiguous about the requirement to vote inside a building.
One of the judge’s possible remedies would have been to invalidate all of the votes, because none was cast in a legal manner. And honestly, had he done so, there should be no quarrel with him. It’s a valid interpretation.
However, he looked at two other things:
1. 100,000 voters had cast ballots in good faith. They followed the direction of a government official. If the law was broken, it wasn’t their fault. If the ballots were destroyed, they would be harmed. Many would be unaware of their right to revote if their ballot was invalidated, and unfairly disenfranchised; and
2). Republicans could have challenged the law earlier (and thus avoided some of the disenfranchisement consequences)
He decided that the fairest thing to do was to allow the votes. The voters