These guys really suck. Not much more can be said.
A new challenge to Harris County’s drive-thru voting sites, filed by two GOP candidates and a Republican member of the Texas House, asks the state Supreme Court to void ballots “illegally” cast by voters in cars.
That could put more than 100,000 ballots at risk, drawing sharp criticism from Democrats and raising fears among voters, including those with disabilities and others who were directed into drive-thru lanes as a faster method of voting.
One of the unsuccessful challenges was filed by the Republican Party of Texas. The second was from the Harris County GOP, activist Steven Hotze, and Sharen Hemphill, a GOP candidate for district judge in Harris County. Neither petition sought to void votes.
That changed with the latest petition filed shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday by Hotze, Hemphill, GOP congressional candidate Wendell Champion, and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands.
The new petition asks the all-Republican Supreme Court to confiscate memory cards from voting machines at drive-thru locations and reject any votes cast in violation of state election laws.
The petition argues that drive-thru voting is an illegal expansion of curbside voting, which state law reserves for voters who submit a sworn application saying they have an illness or disability that could put them at risk if forced to enter a polling place.
“Hollins is allowing curbside/drive-thru voting for all 2.37 million registered voters in Harris County. This is a clear and direct violation of his duties,” the petition argued.
But Hollins has said drive-thru voting is just another polling place with a different layout and structure, and that it was approved by the Texas secretary of state’s office before being adopted.
Vehicles form lines and enter the voting area one at a time, where a clerk checks each voter’s photo ID, has them sign a roster and hands over a sanitized voting machine. Voting typically takes place in large individual tents, and poll watchers can observe the processing of voters no differently than in traditional voting locations, Hollins has argued.
See here for the previous entry. As I said yesterday, I just don’t believe the Supreme Court will do this. It’s such a drastic step to take, it’s punitive towards a lot of voters who had every reason to believe they were doing something legal, it would be an enormous partisan stain on the court and the justices, four of whom are on the ballot themselves, and as I said if the court felt such an outcome was in play, they could have clearly signaled it earlier to minimize the effect on the voters. Maybe I’m naive, or willfully blind. This just seems like a bridge way too far. I guess we’ll find out.