The court’s move makes it highly unlikely that the issue will be decided in time for the November election.
State regulations allow vote by mail to those who are 65 and older, voters who have a sickness or physical condition from appearing at the polls, and others who are absent from the county.
Texas Democrats and Democratic voters under age 65 brought the case and argued that the law discriminates against younger voters afraid of going to the polling place because of the pandemic.
“There are millions of voters in Texas under the age of sixty-five who would be eligible to obtain a no-excuse vote-by-mail ballot,” their lawyers told the justices in court papers.
They noted that because of the global pandemic “which grows worse by the day in Texas” some voters won’t be able to vote “without risk to their health and — without hyperbole — to their lives.”
In both 2016 and 2018, approximately 25% of US voters cast ballots by mail, which includes the handful of states that conduct elections entirely by mail and traditional absentee ballots.