The Justice Department is accusing the state of Texas of defying a federal court order by misleading voters and poll workers about the state’s voter ID law requirements in advance of November’s elections.
In a court filing Tuesday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to order Texas to correct information it is circulating about its voter ID law, accusing the state of offering poor explanations to voters and poll workers about the updated requirements for voting, the Texas Tribune reported.
“Voters are receiving in accurate or misleading information that suggests they will not be able to cast ballots that count in November. Limited funds are being used on inaccurate materials,” the filing reads.
The dispute over the pre-election materials is the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the Texas voter ID law. After he struck down the law earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos approved an agreement between Texas and those challenging the voter ID law to soften its restrictions for the November election. As part of the agreement, Ramos directed Texas to develop a program to educate poll workers and voters about the updated rules regarding voter ID.
In its new filing, the Justice Department argued that Ramos told Texas to inform voters about “the opportunity for voters who do not possess SB 14 ID and cannot reasonably obtain it to cast a regular ballot” – but that materials printed by the state inform voters that they can cast a ballot if they “have not obtained” and “cannot obtain” a required form of photo identification. The filing argues that by eliminating the word “reasonably,” the state “has narrowed dramatically the scope of voters protected by the Court’s order.”
The Justice Department said in the filing that it has asked Texas to change the documents but said the state “declined to correct these materials.”
A spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Marc Rylander, told the Texas Tribune that the office is “currently reviewing the DOJ’s motion and will file a response by Friday.”
Read the filing: