August 14, 2012
GALVESTON, Texas – Today U.S. District Court Judge Gregg Costa upheld his earlier opinion in favor of plaintiff Project Vote and its affiliate in Voting for America v Andrade.
Judge Costa denied Texas’s motion to stay the August 2 preliminary injunction in which he ordered the state of Texas to stop enforcing certain laws that restrict voter registration drives.
“Right now, millions of Texans are not registered to vote and are not participating in our great democracy,” says Michael Slater, executive director of Project Vote. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to register and to vote, and voter registration drives help Americans become involved. Voter registration drives were burdened under the Texas election code, and the ruling removes some of the unnecessary hurdles.”
On Aug 2, the court’s ruling granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the following laws:
- a prohibition on voter registration drives submitting to officials by mail applications they collect;
- a prohibition on drives copying applications before submitting them to officials (as long as confidential information is not copied);
- a ban on non-Texans becoming volunteer deputy registrars;
- a prohibition that prevents any person from accepting or handling applications from residents of counties other than the county in which the person was appointed as a volunteer deputy registrar, a provision that forced organizations engaged in large-scale registration efforts to have their canvassers and managerial staff appointed as volunteer deputy registrars in multiple counties; and
- a burdensome compensation law that prohibited organizations from firing employees based on their performance in collecting applications.
In today’s ruling, Costa made a small adjustment to the injunction, stating that all volunteer deputy registrars must indicate their county of appointment on the receipts that they are required to issue to applicants.
“Today’s ruling, once again, restores the rights of Texas citizens to participate in our democracy by operating voter registration drives that bring Americans into the voting process,” says Slater.