Thousands of Texans are being denied the chance to register to vote, violating federal voting laws, a new lawsuit alleges. “Texas voters will continue to be shut out of the democratic process unless and until Defendants reform their registration practices,” alleges the complaint, filed Monday in a federal court in San Antonio by the Texas Civil Rights Project. Plaintiffs in the suit say they tried to update their drivers license and voter registration records through the website of the state Department of Public Safety, and believed they had done so. But when they went to vote, they were found to be unregistered, and forced to cast provisional ballots, which likely won’t count. “I felt that my voice was taken away from me when my vote wasn’t counted,” said Totysa Watkins, an African-American woman from Irving, Texas, who works for a health insurer. “Voting has always been something I value and is a right I have instilled in my children. Texas should not be able to take that away.”
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which aims to make registration as easy as possible, requires that states give people the chance to register to vote when they come in contact with departments of motor vehicles, as well as public assistance agencies. In November, Alabama agreed in a widely praised settlement to comply with the NVRA and make registration easier through its drivers license agency, after the U.S. Justice Department threatened a lawsuit.
“The NVRA is very clear: The state must update registration records every time a voter updates his or her driver’s license files,” stated Peter Kraus, a lawyer helping to bring the suit. “We are asking Texas to take simple, commonsense steps to modernize its voter registration procedures and comply with longstanding federal law.”
Full Article: Texas Sued Over Voter Registration Policies – NBC News.