Federal Judge Finds Texas Violated National Voter Registration Law


Texas failed to give residents renewing their driver's licenses online the opportunity to register to vote.

Failure to update voter registration for residents renewing their driver’s licenses online violates federal election laws, according to a federal judge’s ruling against the state of Texas.From the Texas Tribune:

In a court order made public on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio ruled that Texas was in violation of the federal National Voter Registration Act. A portion of that law requires states to give residents the opportunity to register to vote at the same time that they apply for or renew their driver’s licenses. ...

Alleging that Texas was disenfranchising thousands of voters, the plaintiffs also claimed that Texas was violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause by treating voters who deal with their driver’s licenses online differently than those who register in person.

The Texas Civil Rights Project, which brought the lawsuit in 2016, indicated changes to the state’s voter registration practices will “soon be forced”, but as of now no official time frame has been determined by the judge.

“For too long, the state of Texas has ignored federal voting rights laws intended to ensure that all eligible voters have an opportunity to register to vote,” said Beth Stevens, voting rights director at the Texas Civil Rights Project. “We look forward to seeing deep changes in [the Texas Department of Public Safety’s] voter registration practices in the coming months, affecting well over a million Texans every year.”

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