Texas Elections Bill faces two federal court challenges by suffrage advocates
AUSTIN – Two separate coalitions of voting rights advocates, civil rights organizations and faith groups filed lawsuits Friday against the controversial GOP election bill, days after Texas lawmakers green lighted the proposal and sent it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.
The groups argued that the provisions of the bill, soon to be signed by Abbott, violate federal law and called on judges to prevent the governor and other state officials from enforcing it.
In their complaint to federal court in San Antonio, the plaintiffs’ legal team argued that the Radical Elections Bill, which bans drive-thru voting, allows election observers and threatens election officials with news. criminal sanctions, “imposes charges that will discourage, intimidate and deter eligible voters in Texas and have a disproportionate impact on voters of color and voters with disabilities.”
Among the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit are organizations representing the interests of Hispanic and black Texans, the Harris County Election Officer and Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas. The group’s legal team includes lawyers from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit named Abbott, Texas Assistant Secretary of State Jose A. Esparza, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Medina County Election Officer Lupe C. Torres as defendants.
“Protecting the integrity of our elections is essential in the State of Texas, which is why Governor Abbott made the integrity of the elections a matter of urgency during the regular legislative session and worked to ensure its adoption by convening extraordinary session after extraordinary session, ”said Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze. said in a statement.
Eze added that the proposal, SB 1, “will strengthen confidence in the outcome of our elections.” The new law is expected to come into force in December.
Esparza, Paxton and Torres did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the Election Bill “will frustrate Friendship-West’s mission of encouraging its eligible worshipers and community members, the majority of whom are black, to register, vote and vote. serve as election assistants and workers, and will frustrate its ability to function as a polling station.
The groups are also asking for an order requiring Texas to pre-approve all changes to statewide voting practices with the federal government for a period of 10 years.
The second lawsuit against the election bill was filed in federal court in Austin on behalf of organizations such as the League of Women Voters of Texas, the Texas Organizing Project, and the Workers Defense Action Fund.
“SB 1 is a violation of our freedom to vote, and we will continue to fight any attempt to silence voters in Texas,” Grace Chimene, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas, said in a press release.
Read the lawsuits here: