U.S. judge voices doubt about Texas Republican bid to throw out 127,000 votes

By Jennifer Hiller and Jan Wolfe HOUSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge in Texas on Monday appeared skeptical of 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. On the eve of Election Day, U.S

Reuters November 03, 2020 00:10:46 IST
U.S. judge voices doubt about Texas Republican bid to throw out 127,000 votes

US judge voices doubt about Texas Republican bid to throw out 127000 votes

By Jennifer Hiller and Jan Wolfe

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge in Texas on Monday appeared skeptical of 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.

On the eve of Election Day, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the Republicans who brought the case faced an "uphill road" in convincing him that the votes should be voided.

The judge said the plaintiffs needed to show that Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, a Democrat, had an "evil motive" in allowing drive-through voting as an alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hanen also questioned the last-minute timing of the case.

“Didn’t we test this in the primaries this summer?" The judge asked a lawyer for the plaintiffs, adding: "Why am I just getting this case?”

The lawsuit was brought on Wednesday by plaintiffs including state Representative Steve Toth, conservative activist Steve Hotze, and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill.

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 nominee Joe Biden with more than 9 million ballots already cast, eclipsing the state's total turnout from the 2016 presidential election.

Harris County, home to the city of Houston and about 4.7 million people, is the third most populous county in the United States. It currently has 10 drive-through polling sites, which are available to all voters.

The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday rejected a nearly identical bid by the same plaintiffs 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.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe, Editing by Franklin Paul and Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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