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Texas Supreme Court declines to intervene in poll-watching brief filed by Attorney General Paxton, Travis County GOP

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that under the Texas Election Code, county election officials must permit poll watchers to observe the counting of ballots.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court has declined to intervene in a brief filed over poll watchers in the state, according to a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman.

Chuck Lindell with the Statesman reported Monday, Nov. 9, that the Texas Supreme Court declined to intervene by a vote of 5-4. The court's order said, "The Court notes issues of disputed fact preclude mandamus relief."

On Nov. 8, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a brief in the Texas Supreme Court arguing that under the Texas Election Code, county election officials must permit poll watchers to observe the counting of ballots.

“The election laws passed by our Legislature were specifically designed to ensure integrity, security and transparency. Poll watchers are critical for increased confidence in election integrity and the prevention of fraud,” Paxton said. “Texas law provides for poll watchers as procedural protection against irregularities or unlawful conduct. Watchers must be allowed to perform their lawful duty and verify the ballots are counted correctly—something they can’t do when stuck in a holding room. I will always fight to uphold the law and preserve the integrity of our elections.”

Read more about the brief filed by Paxton here. 

Matt Mackowiak, the Travis County Republican Party and Martin Harry also filed a petition in the Texas Supreme Court on Nov. 8.

KVUE previously reported that a poll watcher was arrested at a Travis County polling location for criminal trespassing after she reportedly began recording at the polling location. The arrested poll watcher spoke to KVUE after she was released from jail, saying that she wasn't allowed to observe the entire room where she was serving as a poll watcher. 

WATCH: Travis County poll watcher responds after arrest

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