U.S. Justice Department Sues Texas Over New Restrictive Voting Law

The United States Justice Department has sued the state of Texas on Nov. 4 over its restrictive voting law that took effect in September.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in civil court, alleging that certain provisions of Texas Senate Bill 1 “will disenfranchise eligible Texas citizens who seek to exercise their right to vote” and “will exacerbate the challenges they face in exercising their fundamental right to vote.”

According to the complaint, Senate Bill 1 harms the rights of voters with limited English proficiency, voters with disabilities, elderly voters, military members deployed away from home, and U.S. voters residing outside of the country.

The complaint alleges that Senate Bill 1 violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by improperly prohibiting voters who have a disability or are unable to read or write to receive assistance in the polling booth.

The complaint further alleges that Senate Bill 1 also violates Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “by requiring rejection of mail ballot materials… because of errors or omissions not material in determining whether such individuals are qualified to vote.”

The lawsuit asks the judge to prohibit Texas from enforcing the identified provisions into law.

“Laws that impair eligible citizens’ access to the ballot box have no place in our democracy. 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,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement.

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