The Latest: Voters head to polls for Election Day in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the general election in Texas (all times local):
NEW ORLEANS — A panel of federal appeals court judges has rejected an eleventh hour Republican effort to bar Election Day drive-thru voting in Houston.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans denied the request in a one-sentence ruling issued late Monday. The court hadn’t been asked to invalidate nearly 127,000 votes already cast at drive-thru sites in the area.
The request stemmed from a lawsuit brought by conservative Texas activists, who have railed against expanded voting access in Harris County, where a record 1.4 million early votes have already been cast. The county is the nation’s third-most populous and a crucial battleground in Texas, where President Donald Trump and Republicans are bracing for the closest election in America’s largest red state in decades on Tuesday.
Attorney Jared Woodfill, a former Harris County GOP Chairman representing those opposed to drive-thru voting centers, noted that county Clerk Chris Hollins has shut down all but one of the county’s 10 drive-thru locations for Election Day.
Woodfill said he expects to appeal the three-judge’s ruling to the full 5th Circuit.
Polls have opened for the final day of voting for the general election in Texas after the state saw record turnout during the early voting period.
Nearly 10 million Texans have already voted during the three weeks of early voting, surpassing the number of ballots cast in the 2016 election. Elections experts predicted the number of votes could surpass 12 million, which would amount to more than 70% turnout — a striking level for a state that was among the worst for turnout in 2016.
Democrats are hoping to seize the majority in the Texas House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 20 years. Polls also show former Vice President Joe Biden running close against President Donald Trump in Texas, which no Democratic presidential nominee has won since 1976.
Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.
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