October 3, 2022
Texas Justice Department sues Justice Department, claiming that Texas’s reform of voting laws is in violation of the Civil Rights Act
The Justice Department on Thursday sued Texas over a recently enacted voting law that the Biden administration argues will disenfranchise voters. In the complaint, the department claims certain provisions of Senate Bill 1, which was signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 7, unlawfully restrict voting assistance and mail-in ballot materials.  The…

The Justice Department sued Texas on Thursday over a newly enacted voting law, which the Biden administration claims will disenfranchise voters.

The department claims that certain provisions in Senate Bill 1 were violated by the Texas Governor. Greg Abbott, Sept. 7, illegally restricted voting assistance and mail in ballot materials.

The lawsuit was filed against the State of Texas, Texas Secretary of State John Scott and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The Department of Justice claims that parts of the law will deny voters with limited English proficiency or disabilities as well as elderly voters and military personnel deployed abroad and Americans living outside the United States.

“These vulnerable voters already confront barriers to the ballot box, and SB 1 will exacerbate the challenges they face in exercising their fundamental right to vote,” the department said.

The DOJ claims that the law denies voters “meaningful assistance” in the voting booth. It prohibits voting assistant providers from answering basic question, paraphrasing complicated language, and verifying that voters with visual impairments have voted as intended.

The law states that providers are limited to marking or reading the ballot or telling the voter to do so. The DOJ prohibits the provider from providing assistance to the voters.

The department claims that it is in violation of the Voting Rights Act, which requires that people who have a visual impairment or a disability, such as a blindness, or who are unable to read or write, be able receive assistance from someone they choose.

The DOJ also objects to a requirement that mail ballot materials must be rejected if they don’t have the same identification number as the voter’s registered.

According to the 18-page complaint some voters might not have the required identification numbers from their voter register application because they may have lost or thrown away an old ID card.

The provision is in violation of the Civil Rights Act 1964, which prohibits the rejection or correction of mail-in ballot materials that contain errors, if they aren’t material to determining whether a person is eligible to vote according state law.

The DOJ asks the court to stop the state from enforcing these provisions and to grant further relief “as justice may require .”

Attorney general Merrick Garland stated in a statement that “our democracy depends on the rights of eligible voters to vote and have that ballot count .”

On Thursday, the Washington Times asked Ken Paxton, Republican Texas Attorney General, for comments.

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