Appeals court rules against Peñitas in dispute over polling location

7 months 1 day 10 hours ago Thursday, October 27 2022 Oct 27, 2022 October 27, 2022 6:31 PM October 27, 2022 in News - Local

The 13th Court of Appeals ruled against the city of Peñitas in the legal battle to reinstate the city’s public library as a polling location for the November 2022 election.

With the decision, early voting in Hidalgo County can continue without interruption.

RELATED: Judge grants order to restore Peñitas library as polling location

The city of Peñitas was granted a temporary restraining order against Hidalgo County last week in response to the county removing the Peñitas Public Library as a polling location.

The county previously said it didn’t receive a request to use the library as a polling location until after the deadline to submit applications had passed. Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner Everardo “Ever” Villarreal also cited accessibility, traffic flow, and general safety concerns. 

Under the TRO, the county was barred from holding early voting if the library was not reinstated as a polling location.

The county filed an appeal that put the judge’s order on hold.

RELATED: Appeals court reviewing Peñitas’ request to use library as a polling location

In its Thursday ruling, the 13th Court of Appeals declared that the TRO was “void and had no effect.” 

“The court did not rule on whether the city’s lawsuit was valid,” the city of Peñitas said in a news release. “The city of Peñitas will use all legal remedies and the district court to obtain answers for all voters in Hidalgo County, and to prevent the overreaching actions of Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, The Hidalgo County Elections Department and Commissioner Everardo Villarreal in the future.”

Voters in the Peñitas area can still cast their ballot at locations in the city of La Joya and Palmview. A full list of polling locations in Hidalgo County can be found online. 

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