The judge appointed by President Bush, Andrew Hanen, held a hearing at 10:30 local time on Monday.
A group of Republicans filed a petition on Tuesday to stop through voting in Harris County, another attempt after the Texas Supreme Court ruled last week that through voting is possible.
The same group of plaintiffs also submitted a new petition to the Texas Supreme Court, which is awaiting judgment.
Both petitions hope to block the tabulation of nearly 127,000 votes during the early voting period until the court orders. Ballots will be counted on the morning of election day.
Harris County clerk Chris Hollins firmly defended the “drive-thru” voting, which was a legal and safe voting option during the pandemic. The county attorney submitted a nearly 200-page response to the Texas Supreme Court this week. Supporters in favor of the vote also pointed out that the Texas Supreme Court, which is composed only of Republicans, had already ruled last week.
Harris County is home to Houston and the largest county in the state, with 2.4 million registered voters. In the recent elections, it has become a stronghold of the Democratic Party.
The plaintiffs, including Republican activist Steve Hotz and three Republican candidates, all argued that voting without party affiliation violated federal law.
Ten of the 1
The petition states that nine out of ten locations are in densely populated democratic areas.
The latest challenge is that the voting system violates the U.S. Constitution, which states that state legislatures determine how elections are conducted. The plaintiff also argued that it violated the equal protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment, because the county used a voting method not used in other Texas counties.
Republican State Representative Steve Toth, who was listed as the plaintiff in the petition, argued that reforms such as unreserved voting are the work of the state legislature (not the local county). He also criticized the state Supreme Court’s ruling last week. He represents Southern Montgomery County, north of Harris County.