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Federal Judge Rules Texas Violated National Voter Registration Law

by Countable | Updated on 4.4.18

What’s the story?

  • A federal judge in San Antonio, in an order released Tuesday, ruled that Texas violated the National Voter Registration Act. The Act was designed to enhance voting opportunities for every American by making it easier to register and maintain registration.

  • One provision of the Act is that states must provide individuals with the opportunity to register to vote at the same time that they apply for a driver's license or seek to renew a driver's license. States are then required to forward the completed application to the appropriate state or local election officials.

  • Texas does not allow online voter registration. Instead, when individuals applied for a license or license renewal they had to print out a voter registration form and mail it themselves to their county registrar.

  • The plaintiffs in the case argued the process dictated online was confusing and messages on the website were misleading. They alleged thousands of voters were disenfranchised by the "widespread confusion" caused by thinking they had registered when they had not.

  • The Texas Tribune reports that the judge’s order did not include steps Texas is required to take to comply with federal law. Those are expected within two weeks.

What do you think?

Should all states allow online voter registration? Are you registered to vote? Check out our Voter Center, where you can get registered or confirm your registration!

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: army.mil / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(43)
  • John
    04/05/2018
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    Every citizen should be automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthday.

    Like (44)
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  • Pat
    04/05/2018
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    Be afraid of a government that wants to make it difficult for you to make your voice heard.

    Like (22)
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  • Marwa
    04/05/2018
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    There is no good reason not to make voter registration as easy as possible.

    Like (19)
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  • JTK
    04/05/2018
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    Online voter registration should not be allowed. There have been to many instances of dead people voting and other abuses that would only be encouraged by this practice. To register, a potential voter should have to appear in person and present evidence of citizenship and state residency. That said, the DMV should assist by sending the voter application to the local Secretary of State or election authority.

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  • OlderNWiser
    04/05/2018
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    Bravo to the Texas judge who ruled to support the Vote. Registration should be automatic at reaching age 18. The GOP has been stealing elections with gerrymandering, false claims of voter fraud, and intimidation of People of Color at the polls, reasonable-sounding voter ID is out of reach to the poor, disabled and old while imposing punishments on all but that -1% with onerous tax laws, cutting benefits to children, elders and the disabled. Our country is about hope, justice, and freedom for all – not just the privileged wealthy white males. WeThe people must not be disenfranchised.

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  • RadicalModerate
    04/05/2018
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    Helping our neighbors register to vote and understand the political process is all of our civic duty.

    Like (11)
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  • Teri
    04/05/2018
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    Does anyone ask why Republicans want to suppress voters and why they use Cambridge Analytica a Russian backed company, to prey upon the feeble minded and sway their vote? They preyed upon the most feeble to give up their conservative values to vote for a rascist, lecherous, adulterer, liar, cheat, Russian Traitor, to preserve their American conservative values? Mmmmm is it the values they are concerned with or just the money? Where is the Leadership of the House and Senate? Or are they Russian Traitors also?

    Like (8)
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  • James
    04/05/2018
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    Why not make Election Day a federal holiday to allow every citizen the opportunity to have their voices heard. If there is some type of ID the government requires they should provide the ID to the citizens. Also get the damn leaches away from the polling places

    Like (6)
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  • BeStrong
    04/05/2018
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    This judges ruling instills hope that our democracy does have checks and balances, even if it took a toxic election cycle for them to kick in. Well done Texas.

    Like (4)
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  • Ochoninja
    04/05/2018
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    I agree that all citizens should be registered at 18. Should be able to register online with proper background checks

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  • Bernie
    04/05/2018
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    Filling out a proper paper form is not rocket science. It worked for 200 years prior to the internet. Sorry if it impedes your ability to make Texas purple by suppressing your illegal vote.

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  • Truly
    04/05/2018
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    Finally someone is listening and seeing what they are doing. Arrest these politicians that have taken our state hostage by denying people their say in what the government does. Republicans just can’t win if they don’t cheat. Lock them up!

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  • Hiro9
    04/05/2018
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    This is good news for democracy. Voter suppression undermines free and fair elections. For every 1 person who votes fraudulently their are hundreds of thousands who are illegally stripped from the voter rolls.

    Like (3)
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  • MarkYukhimets
    04/05/2018
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    Any time judge or any other figure trying to impose new laws on voting we see more fraud and corruption DNC is great example of voting fraud backed and supported by DOJ FBI and CIA which leaves us with no one to trust, so we have too demand reforms changes and resignation with consequences in order to prevent fraud from happening again and not to let any other candidates from DNC like Hillary ever run again.

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  • NoHedges
    04/05/2018
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    Great but I want the Governor of Texas up on charges of child neglect and endangerment. His caustic policies towards children and families must come to an end immediately. The US has an acrid policy agenda towards our youngest citizens causing a huge loss of young lives. Children make up at least one quarter of the US population and their lives should matter to every single elected official.

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  • Christine
    04/05/2018
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    Voter registration should be easy and our elections should be held on the weekend for maximum participation.

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  • Bernie
    04/05/2018
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    Apparently all they have to do it show up at a David (camera) Hogg rally. Then they get to vote Democrat.

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  • Wyoming4178
    04/05/2018
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    When more Americans precipitate in our democracy it’s better for all to have voice. They don’t want more voters to precipitating in our democracy because when more vote republicans lose. The voter fraud argument is ludicrous and is always used as a defense. I hope this is appealed. To make it more difficult to register simply disenfranchises voters. Money and power the only thing that can change that is the voter. Congressman and senators are elected by there constituents and Dollars don’t vote people do.

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  • Mark
    04/07/2018
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    Consistently the only people and or organizations that have trouble with voter registration are those that in fact have something to hide. Common sense is in short supply these days. I wonder why ballots and polling station signs are written and posted in multiple languages when a naturalized citizen is lawfully required to speak and read English before being granted citizenship? Moreover, what mechanism on-line would be used to determine citizenship in the Texas (or any states) Drivers License process? Anyone with a SS # and a valid green card can get a drivers license, but there's no check for citizenship on-line. Simply possessing a SS # is not an indication of citizenship. I know this first hand as mine has been stolen and used for years by at least two “undocumented immigrants”. A lot of people are going to be mad when they are arrested for registering to vote when they are not citizens....

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  • Wayde
    04/05/2018
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    Good. Well done. Texas is one of the worst states in the union for the average person's civil rights and Constitutional freedoms. I know. I live here.

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