Judge says Texas mask mandate must extend to polling places


Voters line up and wit to cast a ballot at the American Airlines Center during early voting Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Texas’ statewide mask mandate must extend to inside polling places.

But election officials Wednesday did not appear to be rushing to enforce the order.

It was handed down after more than 8 million people have already cast ballots.

U.S. District Judge Jason Pulliam said not requiring face coverings in Texas polling places created a discriminatory burden on Black and Latino voters, who are at higher risk of death and severe illness from the coronavirus.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately appealed Tuesday’s ruling.

Texas is three weeks into early voting, but Pulliam said enforcing a mask order would not be disruptive.

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