Texas Republicans Want to 'Improperly Influence' Election by Scrapping Drive-thru Ballots, ACLU Says

A group of Republicans which is fighting a court battle against the validity of more than 100,000 votes cast at drive-thru stations in Texas, faces accusations of trying to "improperly influence" the outcome of the 2020 election.

The plaintiffs, whose case will be heard in a federal court on Monday, argue that curbside drive-thru voting in Harris County does not tally with federal law and are seeking ballots cast in this manner be rejected.

A similar move by the same group—which is led by the head of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, Steven Hotze—previous failed in the Texas Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has now branded the the move to discard the votes "an attempt to undermine a true and accurate vote count."

"The push to toss the ballots of nearly 127,000 Texans in Harris County is unconscionable and illegal," Sophia Lin Lakin, deputy director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said in a statement.

"It appears to be an attempt to undermine a true and accurate vote count and improperly influence the outcome of the election."

The challenge filed by ACLU was done so on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Texas and a number of individuals who voted using the drive-thru method in question.

An amicus brief from Republican former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus and GOP election lawyer Ben Ginsberg has been filed opposing the lawsuit. The brief allows those who feel they are indirectly affected by case to express their view.

"The lawsuit attempting to disenfranchise more than 100,000 voters in Harris County is patently wrong," Straus said in a statement. "All of us who believe in the core ideals of this country should want more votes counted and more voices heard.

"While it may be too late for this election, the Republican Party needs to return to a place where we win with ideas and persuasion rather than trying to intimidate and silence our fellow citizens. I hope all elected statewide leaders in the Republican Party will stand up against these desperate tactics."

Mark Trachtenberg, who filed the brief on their behalf, shared details on Twitter and wrote: "Their powerful voices illustrate that this is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue but a DEMOCRACY issue."

Hotze was joined in filing the suit by Harris County Republican State Representative Steven Toth, Republican Judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill and GOP Congressional candidate Wendell Champion.

In an email to Reuters, reported Sunday, Jared Woodfill, a lawyer for Hotze, said: "Tomorrow we will be in front of a federal judge who will have an opportunity to review the federal claims we have asserted."

He added that his clients may eventually consider pursuing the case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

When the Republican group's earlier suit failed in the Texas Supreme Court, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo defended the drive-thru method of casting ballots in the state.

"We know we're right on the law, we had drive-thru voting for the past runoff election. The Secretary of State has seen our plans for months with no objections," she said in a comments after the Texas Supreme Court case, Click 2 Houston reported.

Newsweek has contacted Woodfill, the ACLU, Harris County Judge Hidalgo and Trachtenberg for further comment.

drive thru vote
An election worker guides voters in cars at a drive-through mail ballot drop-off site at NRG Stadium on October 7, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Go Nakamura/Getty Images