‘Failed By The Courts’: Texans Hoping To Vote By Mail Have To Hit The Polls Instead

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Early voters line up in West Lake Hills, Texas, during the first hours of early voting on Wednesday.

Acacia Coronado/AP


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Acacia Coronado/AP

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Joe Cascino, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, wanted to vote by mail but the state’s rules do not permit him to do so.

Rick Kern/Getty Images for MoveOn.org


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Rick Kern/Getty Images for MoveOn.org


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Vladeck says these losses pose a larger problem. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, he says it’s been largely left up to the courts to protect voting rights in the country.

«I think that unfortunately that leaves folks — at least with the impression, if not the reality — that you know the courts really are picking sides when it comes to elections,» he says. «When in fact we should be able to rely on courts to be the one neutral arbiter that stays above it all.»

Several voting cases in Texas have been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but voting rights groups have said the damage has already been done because Texans are already voting.

Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also sided with Republican Texas officials in the lawsuit filed by Cascino and others.

Cascino says he was disappointed, but decided to vote on the first day of early voting in Texas.

«I felt failed by the courts when I voted,» he said. «I couldn’t help but think about how much easier this could have been and how much less risk it could have been for myself and others who I live with.»

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