News Roundup: Lawsuit Calls Challenges To Mail-In Ballots Arbitrary And Unconstitutional

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 8, 2019 1:17 pm

The Texas Civil Rights Project is challenging the state’s voting laws. The group is suing on behalf of two voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected after local officials said signatures on their ballots weren’t theirs.

The lawsuit argues the process used to determine if a signature is authentic is unconstitutional because it’s arbitrary and varies by county.

In a video, the group points that only certain voters are eligible to vote via a mail-in ballot, meaning “the mail-in system will most likely negatively impact persons with disabilities, persons over 65 years old, persons confined in jail but otherwise eligible to vote, and persons who will be out of the county of their residence during the entire early voting period and on election day.”

The Texas Civil Rights Project is asking a judge for one of two things: to prevent local officials from invalidating mail-in ballots due to signature discrepancies, or require Texas to tell voters about a potential signature mismatch so they have time to address the issue before an election.

El Paso sports fans used a baseball game to help heal the still-fresh emotional wounds from Saturday’s mass shooting that left 22 people dead.

Norma Martinez with Texas Public Radio reports that just over 6,000 fans gathered at Southwest University Park Wednesday evening to cheer on the hometown El Paso Chihuahuas, as they took on the Round Rock Express.

Before the national anthem, the Chihauhaus held a moment of silence for the 22 people who died in Saturday’s shooting at a local Walmart. The team also honored Robert Evans, the manager of that Walmart.

Evans said he was glad the team went forward with their game as scheduled, four days after the shooting.

“I feel it’s good. It brings us together,” Evans said. “And not to forget, but it gives us a sense of relief. It brings a sense of confidence, being able to participate in public events, things of that nature. Sit down and watch a baseball game, relax with your family, friends. I think it really kind of nurtures your mind and helps in the healing process as well.”

Fans who made it here had to deal with the extra traffic and chaos that came with President Trump’s visit. But for John Evans, it was worth it. He got here early with his family.

“We still need to move on. We’re not going to stop doing the things that we used to do, we’re accustomed to doing in El Paso,” he said. “It was a tragedy but yet, life goes on. You’ve got to keep moving.”

For Russell Johnston, this was his first Chihuahuas game. He’s here from Virginia visiting friends and he’s been impressed with the resolve of El Pasoans.

“This is the same thing that happened after 9/11,” he said. “There’s a lot more precautions after 9/11, but you’ve got to carry on life.”

The El Paso Chihuahuas went on to lose to the Round Rock Express 20 – 12 but for many of the people who made it out, it was one step closer to normalcy.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is opening new migrant detention facilities in Texas, after overcrowding at other sites.

Elizabeth Trovall with Houston Public Media reports federal border agents are opening new short term detention facilities in Donna and Tornillo, Texas this week.

The large tent structures will hold an additional 4,500 adults, according to Customs and Border Protection, and are part of a recent push to increase detention capacity by 6,500 people in Texas and Arizona.

Customs and Border Protection also plans to open future holding facilities to accommodate families. Those structures are planned for El Paso, McAllen and Yuma, Arizona and will hold 1,800 people.