Plaintiffs Say Texas Election Officials Are Misleading Voters About New Voter ID Rules

“I’m afraid we are entering a new era of voting rights struggle.”

By Ashley LopezSeptember 8, 2016 10:07 am, ,

From KUT

It was just a few weeks ago that this was all pretty much settled.

A federal appeals court had ruled the state’s strict photo ID law was discriminatory, a federal judge signed off on an agreement that would loosen those rules and there was a plan in place for letting people know about those changes.

However, plaintiffs say the state isn’t executing effectively on that last part.

“What our fear is that the state is trying to set up a catch-22 with people who have a real difficulty getting an ID,” says Chad Dunn, a lawyer representing some of the plaintiffs in this case.

Dunn says the concern here is about language. It’s about how the state describes people’s options when they head to the polls.

According to the motion, the state’s voter education and poll worker training documents mislead people about who can sign a declaration and vote a regular ballot. Dunn says these materials say voters who “have not obtained” and “cannot obtain” a photo ID can sign the document.

“But that’s not what the courts say are the people that should be protected by this procedure,” he explains. “The people who should be protected are people who have a reasonable impediment. And, so, we are trying to make sure that the court record and the election administrators are clear on that point.”

And even though the quibble here is about just a couple of words, attorneys say those words could make a big difference.

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