A Texas judge temporarily barred the state from ordering county election officials to purge presumably dead voters from registration rolls, saying the initiative may violate the election code. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed today by four Texas voters who were told they would be purged from voter- registration lists as deceased. They asked state court Judge Tim Sulak in Austin to stop the state from striking about 77,000 names from the rolls, arguing the plan violates the Texas election code and the U.S. Voting Rights Act.
The secretary of state is “restrained from further instructing the counties to remove any other names from the voter rolls,” Sulak said in his order. “Plaintiffs are entitled to temporary injunctive relief.” Lawyers for the voters contended the state was required to get pre-approval for rules changes under the federal Voting Rights Act. The law mandates that Texas and other jurisdictions subject to the act get pre-clearance from the U.S. Justice Department or a special three-judge panel to alter electoral procedures.