Justice Department files lawsuit against Texas over voting procedures imposed by Texas Senate Bill 1

Texas

FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, the Department of Justice seal is seen in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON (KAMR/KCIT) — The U.S. Department of Justice said in a press released that it has filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas over voting procedures imposed by Texas Senate Bill 1.

The DOJ said the complaint challenges provisions of Senate Bill 1 under Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Our democracy depends on the right of eligible voters to cast a ballot and to have that ballot counted,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will continue to use all the authorities at its disposal to protect this fundamental pillar of our society.”

According to the press release, the complaint contends that Senate Bill 1 violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by improperly restricting what assistance in the polling booth voters who have a disability or are unable to read or write can receive.

According to the complaint, allegedly, Senate Bill 1 harms those voters by barring their assistors from providing necessary help, including answering basic questions, responding to requests to clarify ballot translations, or confirming that voters with visual impairments have marked a ballot as intended.

The United States’ complaint also contends that Senate Bill 1 violates Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by requiring rejection of mail ballots and mail ballot request forms because of certain paperwork errors or omissions that are not material to establishing a voter’s eligibility to cast a ballot. The complaint is asking that the court prohibit Texas from enforcing these requirements.

That complaint can be read in full here.

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