The right to vote is one of the most important rights we have. We should make it as easy to vote as possible, for all American citizens, especially during this pandemic. We should be expanding access to the ballot box by having universal vote by mail, opening more polling places, and more.
As an attorney, I’ve represented Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in court, when the GOP tried to suppress the vote and manipulate the ballot. I was proud when Clay said “"Sean McCaffity is a proven and capable voter protection lawyer who fought the GOP’s voter suppression and manipulation efforts. I have trusted Sean to represent me in court against the Dallas County GOP. I’ve seen firsthand Sean’s determination when it comes to standing up for what’s right. There’s no doubt that Sean will fight against corruption and special interests in Congress."
In Congress, I will:
Fight for universal mail in voting. Some states offer vote by mail to all voters already, and there’s no reason why we can’t do it throughout the country.
Ensure all communities have polling places. The long lines in recent elections in Kentucky and Georgia are unacceptable. If voters want to vote in person, every community, especially non white and historically disenfranchised areas, should have enough polling places. I will fight for federal funding to make sure states and counties can keep enough polling places open, so no one has to stand in a long line during a pandemic.
End partisan gerrymandering. Congressional districts need to be fairly drawn and representative of its voters. I would support efforts to ensure that district lines are drawn fairly and in a nonpartisan manner.
Update the Voting Rights Act. Our current representative, Van Taylor, has refused to update and pass the Voting Rights Act. In Congress, this will be one of my top priorities. The Voting Rights Act would, among other things, strengthen federal oversight of elections in areas with a history of racial discrimination. We have to ensure that all people, but especially those that have been historically disenfranchised have their voting rights protected.
Texas Universal Vote by Mail
After the outbreak of COVID-19, Texas Democrats (including myself), fought to expand vote by mail to all Texans. Currently, only voters that are 65 and over, disabled, or will be out of their county on Election Day during early voting or on Election Day, or confined to jail. Democrats argued in court that the lack of immunity to the virus could be considered a disability, and therefore all Texans should be able to vote by mail. After an initial ruling that granted this request, subsequent appeals have determined that the lack of immunity is not considered valid to request a vote by mail ballot. There is still litigation pending, and I will continue to fight to expand voting rights, and we will keep you informed if anything changes. A timeline of events, including my brief challenging AG Paxton’s efforts to block ballots to thousands Texans, is below.
4/15 - District judge Travis Sulak issued a temporary injunction, allowing voters that fear contracting COVID-19, to request a vote by mail ballot. This decision will likely be appealed by Texas Republicans.
5/18 - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would disenfranchise thousands of Texans by ordering County Clerks to refuse to send ballots to voters that apply for a vote by mail ballot due to disability. I wrote an amicus brief, challenging Paxton, and urging the Supreme Court of Texas to reject Paxton's request and protect the right to vote. Read it below:
5/19 - A Federal judge ruled that all Texans are eligible to vote by mail. Decision appealed by Texas GOP & lawsuits in the Texas State Supreme Court are still pending. We will provide new information as it comes.
5/27 - The Texas Supreme Court ruled that lack of immunity to COVID-19, by itself, does not constitute a disability under the Texas Election Code and thus does not qualify as a statutory reason for an application to vote by mail. While SCOTX did deny AG Paxton's request for a writ of mandamus against county election administrators, this almost certainly means an end to expanded vote by mail under existing law as a result of the pandemic.