The Bastrop County Elections Department had to destroy and reprint ballots intended for the November election this week due to a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court.
Last Tuesday, September 15, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order that required the inclusion of three Green Party candidates to the November 3, 2020 general election ballot. The Texas Democrat Party had sought to remove these candidates from the ballot because they had not paid filing fees. While a state appeals court ruled in favor of the Democrats, the Texas Green Party appealed the case to the Texas Supreme Court. Similarly, the Texas Republican Party attempted to remove 44 Libertarian candidates from the ballot for not paying filing fees, which the Texas Supreme Court also disallowed.
The three Green Party candidates are David B. Collins for Texas’ U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Cornyn, Katija Gruene for Texas Railroad Commissioner and Thomas Wakely for the 21st Congressional District, which covers much of the region north of San Antonio and west of Austin.
As a result of the supreme court decision, ballots must be reprogrammed and reprinted, according to a press release from the Bastrop County Elections Department released last week. Ballots originally printed for the November 3 election were destroyed on Monday morning at the county courthouse. The estimated cost of destroying the original ballots and reprinting corrected ones for Bastrop County is $12,300.
The elections department said they have not yet started mailing ballots by mail, so no voter has received a ballot that would need to be corrected. However, the mailing of regular mail-in ballots will be delayed due to the correction, and the corrected ballots will be sent once they have been printed. The deadline to mail ballots to overseas and military voters is Saturday, September 19, so in order to meet this deadline, the Bastrop County Elections Department said they will print emergency ballots with the required correction.