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Texas AG Ken Paxton Appeals Federal Judge's Ruling On Limiting Mail Ballot Drop-Off Locations; Stay Granted

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an appeal on a judge's ruling from Friday that blocked the governor's order on limiting mail ballot drop-off locations. The appeals court granted a temporary stay on the judge's ruling.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin ruled against Gov. Greg Abbott's order from last week that limited the drop-off locations to one per county, no matter the size.

According to Pitman, the order puts a burden on elderly and disabled residents who would likely use these drop-off locations.

Paxton announced the emergency appeal Saturday, claiming the governor's order enhances ballot security and that the judge's ruling "creates confusion on the eve of an election and threatens the integrity of the election."

Later in the day, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay, halting the judge's court order.

"The district court's order undermines our election security, disrupts the democratic process, and will only lead to voter confusion. It cannot stand," Paxton said in a statement. "Mail-in ballots are particularly vulnerable to fraud. Protections that ensure their security must be upheld and my office will continue to fight for safe, free and fair elections."

"I commend the Fifth Circuit for temporarily staying the district court's unlawful injunction while it considers our request for a full stay pending appeal. This ensures that the Governor's Proclamation remains in effect," Paxton later added after the appeals court decision.

Harris County appeared to be the most affected by the order, which began a week ago, as it would have to eliminate 11 of its drop-off locations.

The order also caused civil rights and voter advocacy groups to file a lawsuit against the governor, claiming the order suppresses Texas voters.

The Texas Democratic Party chair released a statement on the judge's ruling on Friday, saying in part "Governor Abbott's attempt to suppress Texas voters has been thwarted... This important ruling stands up not just for voters but for the Rule of Law."

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