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Judge grants restraining order in mail-in ballot issue

Jefferson County voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected in the Nov. 6 election have obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent their votes from being discarded.

Jefferson County 60th District Court Judge Justin Sanderson has ordered the early voting ballot board to return ballots to their owners, thus allowing those voters to cast ballots in person, according to a press release from Cade Bernsen, the Jefferson County Democratic Party chairman.

Jefferson County Democratic Party officials learned last week that an estimated 15,000 registered Jefferson County voters had been placed on a “suspense list,” held by Republican Voting registrar Allison Getz. Some voters were not informed of this until they attempted to vote. Voters who are on the “suspense list” can vote using a regular ballot, by filling out a statement of residency form at their polling station. Jefferson County voters can vote at any polling location in the county.

Mail-in ballots are the preferred method of voting for those who are physically challenged, those over the age of 65 and victims of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey.

“Voter suppression in Jefferson County will continue to be investigated by the Jefferson County Democratic Party,” Bernsen said.