Judge to issue order expanding vote-by-mail amid pandemic

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State District Judge Tim Sulak of Travis County told plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state that he will issue a temporary injunction expanding eligibility for a mail-in ballot for voters in the July primary runoff and special elections.

Representative Eddie Rodriguez issued the following statement regarding Judge Sulak’s order: “We must not risk election workers’ and voters’ health by conducting conventional, inperson elections in July. We are unlikely to be prepared to safely conduct regular elections at that time, and it would be reckless for the government to create the conditions for community spread.

“Many Texans, especially those with compromised immune systems, may refrain from voting in an in-person election out of fear for their health or the health of others. No person should have to choose between preserving their health and exercising their right to vote. Texans must have an alternative to voting in-person. To proceed without an alternative under these extraordinary circumstances would be tantamount to voter suppression.

“Every vote and every voice matters. The only way to protect both public health and the right to vote is to provide all voters with an opportunity to vote by mail in the upcoming elections.”

Representative Rodriguez represents East Austin’s and Southeast Travis County’s District 51 in the Texas House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committees on Calendars, State Affairs and Ways & Means in the 86th Texas Legislature.

Representative Rodriguez serves as the Policy Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the oldest and largest Latino legislative caucus in the nation.