Justice Department Sues Texas Over New Election Law

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Ailan Evans Deputy Editor
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The Department of Justice filed a complaint against Texas on Thursday, alleging certain provisions in the state’s new election law violated federal voting legislation.

The complaint alleged that certain provisions in Texas’ new election law, known as SB 1, violate Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by denying voters, especially those with disabilities, “meaningful assistance” in the poll booth. The complaint also alleged that Texas’ law requiring the rejecting of ballots with certain errors that the DOJ claims are inconsequential violates the Civil Rights Act.

The DOJ alleged these provisions disenfranchise certain voters, such as disabled individuals, and asks the court to prevent Texas from enforcing the provisions. (RELATED: Texas Governor Signs Law Preventing Social Media Companies From Banning People For Their Views)

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott speaks to the press after attending the public viewing for George Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas on June 8, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

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

SB 1, passed in early September, was intended to strengthen election security, according to its proponents, including Gov. Greg Abbott. The law contains numerous provisions affecting many aspects of the electoral process, targeting overnight early voting hours, drive-thru voting, and certain aspects of mail-in voting.

“Laws that impair eligible citizens’ access to the ballot box have no place in our democracy,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in the press release. “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.”

The Justice Department previously filed a similar complaint against Georgia for its elections laws implemented in March. That suit alleged Georgia’s laws disenfranchised black voters, with President Joe Biden comparing the measures to the Jim Crow-era legal code.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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