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Tue Nov 12, 2013, 06:32 PM

New Voter Id lawsuit

A new voter id lawsuit was filed November 5, 2013 in Federal Court in Corpus Christi. http://txredistricting.org/post/66800246419/south-texas-voters-file-new-suit-over-voter-id-law This lawsuit has several plaintiffs who were born on ranches with no doctor present and who do not have the funds to pay $47 for a delayed birth certificate. This lawsuit includes a number of plaintiffs who not eligible to vote by mail but who do not have birth certificates or whose births were not witnessed by a doctor and who would have to pay extra for a delayed birth certificate. A copy of the pleading is set forth below https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxeOfQQnUr_gaTMtQjZnLXFTbVU/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

In addition, to the Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act claim, this petition contains some claims under the Texas constitution that are not in the other cases. The relevant sections being cited are:

Sec. 3. EQUAL RIGHTS. All free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services.

Sec. 3a. EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. This amendment is self-operative.


I am a little worried in that Article 6 Section 4 of the Texas Constitution has some language that could hurt these claims:

Sec. 4. ELECTIONS BY BALLOT; NUMBERING, FRAUD, AND PURITY OF ELECTIONS; REGISTRATION OF VOTERS. In all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot, and the Legislature shall provide for the numbering of tickets and make such other regulations as may be necessary to detect and punish fraud and preserve the purity of the ballot box; and the Legislature shall provide by law for the registration of all voters.


The Texas Constitutional claims will have to deal with above language in that Abbott will claim that the Texas voter id law is necessary for purity of the ballot box.

In theory, the plaintiffs in this case who are not able to vote may be able to request some form of injunctive relief to avoid being disenfranchised during the 2014 general elections. Otherwise, there is a significant chance that the court will not rule on the voter is law until after the 2014 election. In fact, the DOJ may be wanting to get data from the 2014 election. http://www.fairelectionsnetwork.com/blog/three-strategies-so-far-strike-down-strict-voter-id-laws-under-section-2-voting-rights-act

The Veasey lawyers want a trial date before the midterm elections next November, and DOJ wants a trial after that election in early 2015. This seemingly mundane scheduling dispute actually says a great deal about DOJís developing strategy for proving Texas stands in violation of the Voting Rights ActÖ..

Ö..DOJ seems to be angling for, as a way to harvest evidence of any racially disparate impact from actual election results. The 2010 Census demonstrated that one-third of Texasís voting-age population is Hispanic and 11.6 percent African-American. In arguing for a 2015 trial date, it seems that at least part of DOJís strategy will be to try and introduce evidence on the relative percentages of rejected provisional ballots by minority and majority voters.


I feel that we have better plan on having to deal with the Texas voter id law for both the primaries and the upcoming 2014 general election. I hope that I am wrong here.

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