A federal judge on Monday rejected a Republican request to invalidate 127,000 ballots that had already been cast via drive-through voting stations across Harris County, Texas.

Why it matters: Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, is the most populous county in Texas and voted for Hillary Clinton over President Trump by 160,000 ballots in 2016, according to Bloomberg.

  • The ruling comes one day after the Texas Supreme Court denied a nearly identical effort by Republicans in Harris County.
  • Texas, which hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1976, has been rated a toss up by the Cook Political Report. Joe Biden securing the state’s 38 electoral votes would virtually guarantee his path to the White House.

Details: Republicans argued in their lawsuit that Harris County had violated state law by setting up drive-through voting sites, which they claimed favored Democrats, according to the New York Times.

  • Curbside voting is allowed under state law for voters who are sick or disabled. The Republicans argued that “a voter’s general fear or lack of immunity from COVID-19 is not a ‘disability’ as defined by the Election Code,” and thus the pandemic should not be an excuse for drive-through voting.
  • District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, widely viewed as a conservative, ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing. The Republicans can still appeal.

The big picture: Dozens of lawsuits related to voting rights continue to be litigated all over the country, as Republicans sue to block efforts to expand voting access — such as extending mail-in ballot deadlines — that have been instituted during the pandemic.