Judge Blocks Texas' New Voter Registration Laws, Calls Registration Drives "Vital"

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A U.S. District Court judge in Galveston yesterday blocked five parts of Texas' new voter registration laws, all of which were aimed at curtailing large voter registration drives. Voting for America and Project Vote, two affiliated national projects that hire canvassers to register new voters, had sued Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector Cheryl Johnson and Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade back in February.

In his ruling, Judge Gregg Costa found that Texas imposes "more burdensome regulations" than most other states on anyone who registers other people to vote.

"While other states may restrict an activity here or prescribe a regulation there, no other state of which this Court is aware has gone as far as Texas in creating a regulatory web that controls so many aspects of third-party voter registration activity," he wrote.

Costa granted a temporary injunction against five specific rules, including:

- A ban on non-Texans registering voters in the state

- A requirement that those "volunteer deputy registrars" could only register people in the county where they were appointed

- A rule prohibiting registrars from submitting completed applications by mail

- A rule that kept them from photo-copying non-confidential information before submitting the applications

- A rule that kept organizations from firing registrars based on their performance or the number of people they registered.

However, he didn't block rules requiring registrars to undergo state-approved training, carry their certification with them and examine filled-out voter forms for completeness.

The judge wrote that voter registration drives "have played a vital role in increasing participation in the political process." He added that this has been "especially true in minority communities with historically lower rates of voter registration. Census figures indicate that a significant percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics voting in the last presidential election registered through voter registration drives and other third-party voter registration activities." (Not that state politicians might want to restrict voter registration drives to disenfranchise minority voters or anything. No. Certainly not that.)

Despite the fact that this is only a preliminary injunction, Voting For America and Project Vote sent out a press release declaring "a victory."

"Voter registration policies in Texas, over at least the past decade, created an environment hostile to voter registration," said Michael Slater, executive director of Project Vote, in the release. "Today's ruling restores the rights of Texas citizens to participate in our democracy."

Meanwhile, the state is still awaiting a ruling in the federal trial over whether the voter ID law is in fact super racist. That decision is expected by the end of August.


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24 comments
baduserexperience
baduserexperience

"- A rule that kept them from photo-copying non-confidential information before submitting the applications"

 

^^ Disagree with disallowing this.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

I don't care who sued. The Texas GOP just loves to keep people  from voting, unless they vote like them.

brookedoris
brookedoris

A rare ray of sunshine in a state filled with Republican corruption and repression. Good call, your honor.

James080
James080

"Meanwhile, the state is still awaiting a ruling in the federal trial over whether the voter ID law is in fact super racist."

 

Super racist. That sounds bad. Which section of the Voting Rights Act covers super racist state voting laws? I wonder what standard specifically enhances mere racism to super racist?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

It's Gregg Costa, not Acosta.

 

Appointed by Obama.  Add this to the list.

ItsTheEconomy
ItsTheEconomy

 @brookedoris Filled with corruption and repression to the extent that its driving people away...  well not really... how do I rephrase?.....

 

Texas, conservative, corrupt, repressive, just the way people like things to be:

 

"Morris pointed out that Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the country; it had a 2.1 percent growth rate in from April 2010 to July 2011, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Most other states, by comparison, had growth rates of approximately 1 percent or less. Essentially, Morris said, people are leaving states with downward-trending economies and coming to Texas for jobs."

http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/07/30/frisco_enterprise/news/645.txt

 

Of course, there is the long established disconnect between corruption and strong economies but lets not pay that no never-mind, seeing as it doesn't fit into our picture.

 

 

 

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

 @James080 If I were any good at Photoshop, I'd do up a picture right here of George Wallace standing in a schoolhouse door with a flowing Superman cape on. The heart is willing, but the tech skills are weak.   

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @WhiteGuiltObserver The weather alone is reason to move.  There's less police presence, more natural areas, national forests, parks.  Redneck reactionaries want to live in Confederate states.  Texas is really only half a Confederate states.  Older parts of the state, where Mexico granted land never relied on slavery as the newer parts of this state were built on Slavery.  Austin, and San Antonio have far smaller Black populations due to this legacy.  You suffer cognitive dissonance, as you seem to resent the victims of Slavery's ancestors, yet, that's the heritage you embrace. 

Bremarks
Bremarks

 @everlastingphelps

 Yes, appointed by President Obama, but a Republican.  Clerked for William Rehnquest, served in the George W. Bush Justice Department. Might want to actually check him out before branding him. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps What's the problem with getting people registered to vote? Are you afraid the majority of folks don't support right-wing-religious nutcases and will vote accordingly?

BurmaJones
BurmaJones

 @scottindallas "the weather alone is reason to move"  MOVE WHERE?  "NEWER MEXICO"?  Goddam your reading comprehension sucks, what else should I expect from Dallas' #1 Dhimmi and Goofy White Guilt Libtard.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Montemalone I don't have a problem with people who have a right to vote registering to vote.

 

That's generally not what these organizations do.

 

These organizations usually register people who aren't qualified (residency, felon status, etc), people who don't exist, people who are already registered to vote in other places, etc etc.  In addition, they flood the registar at the last minute in an attempt to keep the fakes from being weeded out.

 

This is just a sop to ACORN, under their new myriad of names.

IDunno
IDunno

 @keeponcarryinon  @scottindallas weird ideas about history too: "Older parts of the state" - parts of the state still ruled by the Comanche Nation into the mid 1800s?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Bremarks Right, they happen to have the share directors, have the same address on their 990 forms, use the same accounting firms, hire each other for projects, and describe themselves as "the chairtable arm of ACORN" to the NYT and Time Magazine.

 

No connection there, obviously.  And calling Project Vote "non-partisan" is sheer sophistry.  If they endorse a particular candidate, then they lose their tax-exempt status.  Everything short of that, though, they are thoroughly Democrat.

Bremarks
Bremarks

 @everlastingphelps

 Project Vote is NOT an "Acorn subsidiary".  It is a national 501(c)(3) non-partisan organization.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Bremarks They also aren't suing to be able to ship in out-of-state canvasers and firing registrars who don't make a quota.

 

LoWV != ACORN.  The first is an above-board non-partisan organization, and the other is a highly-partisan organization with a long criminal history.

Bremarks
Bremarks

 @everlastingphelps

 The biggest non-profit group registering voters across Texas is the League of Women Voters.  They follow the law and work hand in hand with local elections departments and the Secretary of State. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Montemalone Case in point -- both Voting for America and Project Vote were(are? Not sure with all the chicanery after the last election) ACORN subsidiaries.

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