Federal Court Overturns Ruling On 2011 Voter Registration Law
One year ago a Galveston judge ruled the 2011 law that places additional requirements and bans on Texans running voter registration drives was too restrictive and therefore unconstitutional. That ruling has now been overturned by the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Texas is now the only state that makes it a felony -- makes it a criminal offense -- to run an organized voter registration drive," said Attorney Chad Dunn, who represents the plaintiffs Voting for America.
Dunn said this law makes it a crime to even touch a blank or completed voter registration form unless state officials gives you permission. Another clause places restrictions on county officials hired to take voter registration forms.
"If someone comes up to me, for example, in Houston, who is from Montgomery Count,y and that person fills out a voter registration card and then hands it to me, I have just committed a criminal offense because I have accepted a voter registration card from someone in another county," Dunn said. "And if I turn it in then I will have proved myself a criminal, if I don’t turn it in then I also have committed an offense."
Dunn said now that an appeal has been granted to the state, they have the option to take the case back to the original state court or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to be the final decision maker.