EDITORIAL: Voting rights should include your safety

Given our realization over time that the Texas Supreme Court is less an honest interpreter of law and more a judicial farce subservient to the whims of partisan and big-money cronyism, the high court will likely go through the motions when arguments are raised today about vote-by-mail initiatives. Groups making these arguments, including the League of Women Voters of Texas, see these as a way to prevent citizens from risking their lives by standing in long polling lines while a highly contagious virus gains ground through contempt for or indifference to social-distancing guidelines. A Harris poll last month found 72 percent of Americans believe 2020 elections should be conducted by mail ballot, a view echoed by a Pew Research Center poll where 63 percent of surveyed registered voters said that they would feel uncomfortable voting in person. And while many folks across Texas — including some in McLennan County — seem to be relaxing social-distancing and face-covering protocols amid statistics showing fewer hospitalizations for COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns a second wave of coronavirus this fall could prove “even more devastating,” coinciding with flu season. Republicans argue that voting by mail invites fraud, yet hard evidence is not only underwhelming but statistically negligible. And when one applies to this the logic so often and so loudly raised against Second Amendment restrictions — that cherished gun rights should not be abridged or suppressed because of isolated lawbreakers — one is left with few valid objections to […]

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