About 127,000 ballots already cast are at stake after a group of Republicans filed a petition seeking to halt drive-thru voting in Harris County, Texas, and block ballots that were cast during early voting from being tabulated until the court issues an order.
“We followed Texas election code to the T. We [consulted] with the Texas secretary of state in setting up drive-through voting, and our plans are public for many months. Now, more than 100,000 Texans have cast their ballots in this way. This is completely legal,” said Harris County clerk Chris Hollins who has defended drive-thru voting.
Some background: A federal judge set a hearing for Monday morning to hear the challenge, in what marks another attempt to dismantle drive-thru voting after the Texas Supreme Court ruled earlier that it could proceed.
Hollins explained what the drive-thru voting setup is like.
“We were allowed to have polling places inside buildings and inside movable structures, and that's what set up. These are large tent structures that you can drive into and cast your ballot,” he told CNN. “You cast your ballot on machines in the exact same way that folks who walk in to other voting centers do. It's completely legal.”
However, if the court rules against counting these drive-thru ballots, Hollins says officials are “prepared to marshall all county resources, including emergency response technology, to reach out to all 127,000 of potentially affected voters.”
“We do have tomorrow Election Day and we’re going to do whatever we can to get them out there and make sure that their voices are heard and that their votes are counted,” he added.