Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) joined twenty-six other voting rights organizations in sending a letter to Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughes urging the expansion of vote-by-mail eligibility in response to COVID-19. State law says that a voter qualifies to vote by mail “if the voter has a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood . . . of injuring the voter’s health.”

Texans should not be asked to choose between their physical well-being and their fundamental right to vote. Given that a pandemic is not the typical scenario under which voting by mail is conducted, it is crucial for Secretary Hughes’s office to issue guidance to counties to make clear that this widespread COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a sufficient circumstance for any eligible voter to vote by mail in the upcoming primary runoff election or any local elections taking place before that date.

Read the full letter here.

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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