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Texas Republicans Sue GOP Gov. Greg Abbott After He Expands Early Voting Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Texas Republicans Sue GOP Gov. Greg Abbott After He Expands Early Voting Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Top Republican officials filed a lawsuit against Republican Governor Greg Abbott after he extended early voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Texas Tribune reports.

Abbott extended the state’s early voting period by six days in July, moving the start date from Oct. 19 to Oct. 13.

Top Republicans including Texas GOP Chairman Allen West and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the state Supreme Court arguing that the move violated state election law.

The law, the suit says, requires early voting to start on the 17th day before the election.

One Republican already dropped out:

The lawsuit argues that Abbott needed to go through the state legislature to implement the change.

"Governor Abbott seems to have forgotten that the Texas Constitution is not a document that he consults at his convenience," Jared Woodfill, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "It is an uninterrupted charter of governmental structure that limits the Governor Abbott’s ability to act as a king."

Three state senators and four state representatives also joined the lawsuit but, after the lawsuit became public, Sen. Donna Campbell asked to be removed from the lawsuit because she disagrees with the “basic construct of the matter.”

Lawsuit also seeks to stop early mail voting:

The lawsuit also seeks to stop the extended period for submitting mail ballots in person at the local clerk’s office after Abbott similarly extended that option.

The Republican lawsuit argues that the move likewise violates the election law.