Judge rejects GOP bid to scrap votes in Texas

A federal judge in Texas on Monday denied an attempt by Republicans to throw out about 127,000 votes already cast in the U.S. presidential election at drive-through voting sites in Houston, a Democratic-leaning area.

The plaintiffs had accused Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, a Democrat, of acting illegally when he allowed drive-through voting as an alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case.

The lawsuit was brought last Wednesday by conservative plaintiffs, including a judicial candidate.

County Clerk Hollins called Monday's decision a victory for the electoral process.

"So we're going to count those votes. We are proud that we're going to be able to count those votes. We are proud to be preserving democracy at a time when democracy itself is being attacked."

Harris County, home to the city of Houston and about 4.7 million people, is the third most populous county in the United States. It currently has 10 drive-through polling sites, which are available to all voters.

Texas, the second largest U.S. state, is traditionally a Republican stronghold but polls show a tight race this year between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden with more than 9 million ballots already cast, eclipsing the state's total turnout from the 2016 presidential election.

The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday rejected a nearly identical bid by the same plaintiffs to halt drive-through voting in Harris County.