Democrats sue Texas to fight for mail-in voting protections — again

by | May 11, 2020 | Politics, Voting

The National Redistricting Foundation, an affiliate of the national Democratic anti-gerrymandering organization led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, has filed its second lawsuit in Texas.

Filed in a federal court on Monday, the lawsuit aims to challenge four restrictions found in Texas Election Code that the group argues are a burden to Texans’ right to vote.

They include ending the requirement for voters to pay for postage when early voting by mail, ending the signature match requirement, ending the tight deadline for receiving and accepting ballots, and ending the criminalization of third party assistance in returning a marked mail ballot. 

The vote by mail restrictions, the lawsuit argues, “independently and collectively pose direct and severe burdens on the right to vote, either by unduly burdening the process, or by unjustifiably raising the risk that substantial numbers of valid ballots of entirely lawful, eligible voters will be rejected and not counted by the State in the coming November Election.”

Last month, the National Redistricting Foundation filed a lawsuit attempting to do away with age restrictions required to vote by mail. Under Texas Election Code, only those 65 and older, as well as people with disabilities, can legally vote by mail.

The lawsuit follows weeks of other federal court battles in the state led by Texas Democrats, ACLU and civil rights groups. As a result of those legal battles, for now, all Texans can vote by mail — but the ruling that allowed for that is currently being appealed and it’s unclear if that will be the case going into the July runoff elections. 

Photo: Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Digital First Media/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

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