Ian Patrick, FISM News
On Thursday the U.S. Justice Department announced that it is suing the state of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State for a voting securities bill enacted earlier this year known as Texas Senate Bill 1.
The Justice Department didn’t mince their words in their announcement, phrasing the lawsuit was against “certain restrictive voting procedures imposed by” the bill.
“Laws that impair eligible citizens’ access to the ballot box have no place in our democracy,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke.
“Texas Senate Bill 1’s restrictions on voter assistance at the polls and on which absentee ballots cast by eligible voters can be accepted by election officials are unlawful and indefensible,” she added.
The case built by the Justice Department alleges that the Texas bill violates both Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Justice Department says it violates 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.”
The complaint alleges that 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 Justice Department claims that the bill violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it requires “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 fight over voter securities, especially related to mail-in ballots, heated up after the November 2020 election left some voters feeling skeptical about the amount of last-minute ballots being counted. Additionally, a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 74% of Americans do, in fact, support a photo ID requirement for voting which Democrats have repeatedly claimed is an inherently racist requirement.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the announcement in a tweet, defending the bill and saying “Bring it.”
The Texas election integrity law is legal.
It INCREASES hours to vote.
It does restrict illegal mail ballot voting. Only those who qualify can vote by mail.
It also makes ballot harvesting a felony.
In Texas it is easier to vote but harder to cheat. https://t.co/VYTyqP6I0Q
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 4, 2021
FISM News previously reported on the bill before it was passed, saying it would “add more hours to vote than ever allowed, but would also require ID for mail-in balloting and ban drive-through voting, 24-hour polling, and ballot drop-boxes.” The bill was signed into law by Governor Abbott in September.