Dallas County Voters Could Vote Via Mail, Claiming ‘Disability,' During Pandemic

Dallas County Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday that would encourage voters who wish to avoid the polls during upcoming elections to request a mail-in ballot by claiming a 'disability'

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Dallas County commissioners voted on Tuesday to approve a resolution that would encourage voters who wish to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus during upcoming elections to apply for mail-in ballots and check the box labeled ‘disability.’

"The point of all this is to increase voters ability to express their opinion at the polls," Commissioner Theresa Daniels said.

Texas requires voters seeking who vote early by mail must either:

  • Be 65 years or older
  • Be disabled
  • Be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • Be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible

The vote comes days after a Travis County District judge ruled that all voters in the state should be allowed to vote via mail-in ballot because of the ongoing pandemic.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) appealed that ruling Friday and issued his statement decrying the idea.

“This unlawful expansion of mail-in voting will only serve to undermine the security and integrity of our elections and to facilitate fraud,” Paxton said.

The lone "no" vote on the Dallas County Commissioners Court was J.J. Koch, a Republican, who pointed to the attorney general’s opinion.

"Essentially we are encouraging the commission of a crime if we place this out there," Koch said.

The others said voters of both parties have supported the option of voting by mail in this situation.

"At the commissioners court we need to be ready and prepared to be sure we have options, and voting by mail is definitely an option," Commissioner Elba Garcia said.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report

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