The appeals court docket is conserving the Texas restrict for dropboxes for postal voting alive in the meanwhile


© Reuters. Governor Greg Abbott restricts the counties of Texas to one postal voting dispenser in Houston

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court on Saturday granted a temporary residency permit that allows the Republican governor of Texas to continue restricting counties to a single postal delivery point in the November 3 presidential election.

Texas has been a longtime Republican stronghold, but this year President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are battling a close race to win the state's electoral votes.

On Friday, a federal court lifted Governor Greg Abbott's limit on dispensaries that the Democrats condemned as voter suppression.

But on Saturday a panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said it was granting temporary residence while the case was under appeal.

Abbott's order means that voters who wish to hand in postal ballot paper rather than post it will have to travel some greater distances to cast their votes. The governor has stated that the limit is necessary to prevent electoral fraud.

The struggle between Republicans and Democrats over postal votes has become a defining theme of the 2020 election.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, an increase in postal votes is expected. At the same time, Texas is one of the few US states that restrict requests for absentee votes: only voters over 65 years of age, disabled, incarcerated in jail, or out of town on election day can vote by email .

Trump's campaign and his Republican allies have attempted to limit dropboxing in many states without proving that they could enable election fraud.

Democrats have touted Dropboxing as a sensible and reliable option for voters who don't want to risk voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic, and say it would help reduce the possibility of delivery problems with U.S. postal services.

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Steven Gregory