Looks like I spoke too soon when I said that the “dead voter” purge story was over. Remember that lawsuit filed by four voters and the temporary injunction granted by a Travis County judge forbidding the Secretary of State from further instructing the counties to remove any other names from the voter rolls? On Friday, AG Greg Abbott filed a motion asking the judge to lift that restraining order.
Four voters who sued Secretary of State Hope Andrade, arguing that their voting rights were jeopardized by being listed as “potentially deceased,” lack the standing to sue because they were not harmed by the program, Abbott argued in a court filing.
The voters, notified by letter that federal records indicated they might be dead, were given 30 days to prove otherwise before their voter registration would be canceled.
“No plaintiff has pled any facts from which it could be found that he is unable to provide such information,” Abbott said.
Abbott’s filing urged dismissal of key claims made in the lawsuit, including:
Allegations that Andrade’s rule violated the Voting Rights Act. Only a three-judge federal court panel has the legal authority to hear such claims, Abbott said.
Allegations that Andrade did not follow state law requiring public input on new rules. Andrade’s actions were mandated by state law and are not considered a “rule” under Texas statute, Abbott said.
A hearing will be held Oct. 4 to determine whether to make the restraining order permanent. Abbott’s motion to dismiss will be heard at that hearing, said Buck Wood, a lawyer for the four voters.
Wood said the filing did not worry him.
“With one or two little exceptions, everything in there was what they already argued at the temporary restraining order hearing,” he said.
I guess we’ll see about that. Clearly, there is no stone Greg Abbott will leave unturned to restrict voting. The original filing by the plaintiffs is here, the TRO issued by the judge is here, and the AG’s response is here. I welcome comment from the lawyers out there.