Worth a shot. Maybe it’ll work.
State officials have apparently found a legal tactic to prevent a slew of election contest lawsuits from derailing the constitutional amendments that voters overwhelmingly approved in November.
The state argued in court filings Tuesday that the lawsuits were improperly served and because Gov. Greg Abbott canvassed the results a day earlier, the lawsuits are now effectively invalid. The law requires such lawsuits to be filed and served before the canvass.
Right-wing activists filed the election contests in Travis County district courts days after the November election. The lawsuits are based on false claims that the state’s voting equipment is not certified and that voting machines are connected to the internet.
The issue took on new urgency in recent days as some Republicans at the Capitol rang the alarm that the contests could jeopardize the implementation of the constitutional amendments, which include property tax cuts that were a hard-fought priority of the GOP. The Texas Senate scrambled to pass a legislative fix, but the House declined to consider it and both chambers gaveled out for the fourth special legislative session Tuesday.
In one of the Tuesday filings, the secretary of state’s office argued that the plaintiffs in the election contests “never served a citation” properly. The election code says a contestant’s petition “must be filed and service of citation on the Secretary of State must be obtained before the final official canvass is completed.”
“Since the Governor has declared the official results of the election in a proclamation, Plaintiffs’ purported effort to void the election on a constitutional amendment that is now ‘a part of th[e] Constitution’ is moot,” the filing said.
See here for the background. We are firmly in uncharted (and completely wacko) waters, so who knows. There were multiple lawsuits filed in multiple counties, so either this has to work with all of the judges or I suppose the Multidistrict Litigation Panel will have to get involved. I’ll leave it to the lawyers to advise me on that one. Republicans sure hope this can be disposed of quickly, because 1) it’s embarrassing, and more importantly 2) a whole lot of nice stuff they promised to voters will be held up, possibly for many months, until it is. And they had the chance to do something about it legislatively but didn’t, which, again, embarrassing. Hope that bed y’all made for yourselves is comfy.