Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Texas loses another voting rights lawsuit

Anyone else detecting a pattern here?

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Handing the state another voting rights loss, a federal judge has sided with a civil rights group that claimed Texas violated federal law by failing to register residents to vote when they updated their drivers’ license information online.

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.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Garcia will direct the state to comply with the law; Garcia indicated he will provide more details in the next two weeks. But the Texas Civil Rights Project, which represents several Texas voters in the case, said the state would “soon be forced” to change its voter registration policies — and possibly introduce its first mechanism for online voter registration.

[…]

The voter registration lawsuit was filed in 2016 against the Texas secretary of state and the Texas Department of Public Safety. 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.

DPS followed the law for in-person voter registration, but residents trying to register online ran into convoluted and misleading language, the plaintiffs claimed.

Plaintiffs objected to what they called a misleading process on the agency’s website. When users checked “yes” to a prompt that said “I want to register to vote,” they were directed to a registration form that they had to print out and send to their county registrar.

Though the website specifies that checking yes “does not register you to vote,” that language has caused “widespread confusion” among Texans who incorrectly thought their voting registration had been updated, the plaintiffs claimed.

See here and here for the background, and here for the TCRP’s statement. As noted in the Trib story, this is the lawsuit in which the judge sanctioned the AG’s office for dragging their feet on meeting deadlines. We’ll know more about what this means when the opinion is published. If there is an online registration part to it, it will apply only to business related to drivers license applications or renewals. Whatever the case, you can be sure this will be appealed, and given the crapshow that is the Fifth Circuit, don’t be surprised if the ruling is put on hold pending appeals. I hate to say it, but we’ve seen that movie before and we know how it ends. Celebrate the ruling, but stay on task.

Related Posts:

12 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    “Plaintiffs objected to what they called a misleading process on the agency’s website. When users checked “yes” to a prompt that said “I want to register to vote,” they were directed to a registration form that they had to print out and send to their county registrar.

    Though the website specifies that checking yes “does not register you to vote,” that language has caused “widespread confusion” among Texans who incorrectly thought their voting registration had been updated, the plaintiffs claimed.”

    Life’s tough, even tougher if you are stupid. If you are smart and adept enough to handle renewing a driver’s license online, you ought to be smart and adept enough to print a form and mail it in. If that’s challenging for you, why not just go in person to the DPS office and fill out the form? Or go to the county tax office and fill out the form. Or print it off and mail it in after being directed there from the DPS website? These must be the same people who starve to death right here in America because they can’t find a grocery store.

    I don’t see why this is an issue in the first place, as we all know that some folks don’t have access to the internet in the first place. If you don’t have internet, you can’t be confused by very clear instructions on the DPS website.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    On second thought, I agree with the lawsuit. Requiring a $ .50 stamp, plus the cost of a sheet of copy paper and the ink it takes to print out the form could be considered a poll tax. That’s before we talk about the labor to fill out the form. I think the only fair thing to do is to pay people $ 100 to register to vote, to cover their expenses and make sure we aren’t disenfranchising people with a poll tax. That would have to be paid out in cash, though, otherwise we’d have to pay more, to pay people to travel to and from the bank to cash the check.

  3. Manny Barrera says:

    How smart are people that vote for a Russian puppet, all the signs were there, smart people could see it, that is why Clinton won the vote count.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    @ Manny:

    Why are the smart people suing Texas? You’d think it would be the Trumpers suing, because it’s Trumpers that cannot follow simple instructions on a website, right?

  5. C.L. says:

    I’m beginning to think Bill doesn’t have anything better to do with his/her day than post semi inflammatory comments, troll Democrats, act the fool then retort some smart ass answer, etc., on this website, and Manny doesn’t have any position other that ‘All Republicans are merely puppets of POTUS/Putin, and are Anti-Christ in their behavior by supporting X, Y, but not Z’.

    But I could be wrong.

  6. Corey Olomon says:

    Many people, myself included, never mail anything anymor and therfore don’t have stamps laying around. If they have to go to the store and buy an envelope and stamp, they will never get around to it. I’m not saying not having to buy stamps is a constitutional right, but requiring them does make it less likely younger people will register.

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    C.L. the intelligence level of Democrats is not greater than of the Republicans. Isn’t it amazing how repeating the same thing over and over again has done wonder for the Republicans. Who controls government in Texas C.L. I am stating a fact not claiming that either group is stupid, lazy and ignorant maybe, don’t know but studies have shown that we pretty much we all have the same I.Q. as the norm.

    Yes, you are wrong C.L. you have not broaden your ability to see what is happening, life is not two dimensional, maybe not even be limited to four dimensions. I have not repeated the phrase, ignorance is not a virtue in some times.

    But C.L. just in case you think, I am doing something because I am so how limited, read the following

    https://www.wired.com/2017/02/dont-believe-lies-just-people-repeat/

    Trump is a puppet, all Republicans are corrupt

    You may not be C.I. but you are not much better. Did I mention how Trump is a Russian puppet?

  8. C.L. says:

    Manny, you’ve laid waste to your own argument. Repeating Trump is a Russian puppet doesn’t make it so, but ultimately facts MAY support the assertion.

    POTUS may be a blubbering idiot who has no clue re: what he’s doing on daily/weekly/monthly basis, or he may be a business and political genius – it’s unlikely he’s both.

  9. Manny Barrera says:

    You don’t understand C.L., so I will waste no more time on explaining it to you. Did you even bother to read the article, I had a link.

    Trump is a Russian puppet, that is a fact. Ted Cruz father fought for Castro, is a fact. There are is ample evidence that Trump is working with the Russians. That was evident even before the election. There is much more evidence now. If something is only a fact when C.L. says it is than you must be the master of facts that everyone must look to. Is that what you are suggesting?

    If you choose not to believe that Trump is your choice than that is your choice, put please don’t tell me that I am wrong unless you have proof that I am wrong.

    How many times do you watch the same commercial, assuming you watch T.V. or even in the internet where the commercials follow you?

    Ignorance is not a virtue.

  10. Manny Barrera says:

    C.L. why do you defend Trump? Republicans are good at misdirection, does it make a difference why he is a Russian puppet? Trump is no idiot, he may not be a genius but he is no idiot. He is a master of manipulation. Maybe he learns from movies, and watched Wag the Dog? Since you maybe don’t like to read, an assumption, here is a trailer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmM8rE_LdFA

  11. C.L. says:

    Manny, I’ve chosen not to gain hard hitting political facts from Wired Magazine or YouTube videos. How’s that ?

  12. Manny Barrera says:

    How convenient, so everything in youtube is what? That was a trailer on the movie, Wag the Dog a movie. I seriously doubt that you bother getting facts from many sources C.L. The movie was a source as to how people are manipulated.

    What is wrong with Wired? But if you prefer your news from Fox, so be it, I would have added Sinclair stations but we don’t have any here in this area.

    Would you believe Doctor Goebbels? https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels

    Would you believe an article in BBC? http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161026-how-liars-create-the-illusion-of-truth

    Would you believe studies? https://qz.com/822907/science-suggests-that-frequently-repeating-a-lie-creates-the-illusion-of-truth/

    No C.L. you choose something else, but I understand that a person who voted for evil would try to justify that vote for evil.

    Trump is a puppet of the Russians, and all his supporters are enablers seeking to destroy this country.