U.S. judge rejects Republican effort to toss 127,000 votes in Texas
By Jennifer Hiller and Jan Wolfe HOUSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge in Texas on Monday denied an attempt by Republicans to throw out about 127,000 votes already cast in the U.S. presidential election at drive-through voting sites in Houston, a Democratic-leaning area
By Jennifer Hiller and Jan Wolfe
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge in Texas on Monday denied an attempt by Republicans to throw out about 127,000 votes already cast in the U.S. presidential election at drive-through voting sites in Houston, a Democratic-leaning area.
The plaintiffs had accused Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, a Democrat, of acting illegally when he allowed drive-through voting as an alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case.
Jared Woodfill, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told reporters they will appeal to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. They will also appeal a similar loss in state court on Sunday to the U.S. Supreme Court, Woodfill said.
Hollins told reporters that drive-through voting sites in Harris County, which includes Houston, would be open on Election Day. “We are proud to be preserving democracy at a time when democracy itself is being attacked," Hollins said.
Harris County, home to about 4.7 million people, is the third-most populous county in the United States. It currently has 10 drive-through polling sites available to all voters among 800 total voting places.
“I find that when you balance the harms you’ve got to weigh in favor of counting the votes," the judge said.
Texas, the second-largest U.S. state, is traditionally a Republican stronghold but polls show a tight race this year between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden with more than 9 million ballots already cast, eclipsing the state's total turnout in the 2016 presidential election.
The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday rejected a nearly identical bid by the same plaintiffs, who include conservative activist Steve Hotze and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill, to halt drive-through voting in Harris County. The same court also previously denied similar challenges brought by the Texas Republican Party and the Harris County Republican Party.
Hundreds of legal challenges have been brought in the months leading up to Tuesday's Election Day over how Americans can cast their ballots. Democrats have generally tried to ease access to mail-in and other alternatives to in-person voting, while Trump has repeatedly made unfounded attacks on mail-in voting, claiming it leads to fraud.
In Nevada, a judge on Monday dealt another setback to Republicans who had filed a lawsuit claiming ballot-counting measures in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, were plagued by problems. The ruling found the plaintiffs lacked standing and had failed to present evidence that the procedures had led to counting of fraudulent votes.
'MAKE OR BREAK TEXAS'
In Houston, Sarah and Dan Jones were among protesters outside the federal courthouse on Monday morning, and they brought their four children, ages 10 to six months.
They voted at a drive-through site a few weeks ago and found out Saturday their ballots were being challenged, they said.
“I’ve never felt so important in my life,” said Sarah Jones, 32. “Harris County can make or break Texas.”
Both voted for Biden. Dan Jones, 38, said he also voted for Hemphill, one of the plaintiffs.
“I voted for her, and she’s trying to get my ballot thrown out," he said.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Jennifer Hiller, Editing by Alistair Bell and Cynthia Osterman)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia's military is fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region, threatening stability around the Horn of Africa. Here are some facts on the forces: THE NATIONAL MILITARY: THE ENDF The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has around 140,000 active personnel, the vast majority of them in the army, according to the Janes security data group. Its troops have been tested by Islamist militants in Somalia and rebel groups in Ethiopia's border regions, as well as a two-year border war with Eritrea followed by an 18-year standoff that only ended in 2018.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the government will impose tighter measures to fight with the coronavirus and impose partial lockdowns on weekends across the country. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Erdogan also said all schools will remain closed until the year-end and all restaurants will only work by delivery
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday his government in coming days will name countries that are importing wood illegally extracted from the Amazon. Addressing a BRICS summit of big developing economies, Bolsonaro said Brazilian police had developed a way of tracking wood exported from the Amazon using isotopes.