Politics

The Biden administration is suing Texas over its new voting law

The Department of Justice argues the law contains several provisions that “will disenfranchise eligible Texas citizens who seek to exercise their right to vote.” It’s the second lawsuit the agency has filed against the state this year.

Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy holds a sign in opposition to voting legislation before the state Legislature, outside the state Capitol in April.

The Biden administration is suing Texas, again, this time over the state's massive voting law that was signed into law in September and is set to got into effect Dec. 2.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in a federal court Thursday claiming the law contains several provisions that "will disenfranchise eligible Texas citizens who seek to exercise their right to vote."

Federal officials claim that includes "voters with limited English proficiency, voters with disabilities, elderly voters, members of the military" who are deployed and American citizens who are out of the country.

"These vulnerable voters already confront barriers to the ballot box," DOJ officials claim, "and SB 1 will exacerbate the challenges they face in exercising their fundamental right to vote."

In particular, the DOJ raised concerns about parts of the Texas law that add new rules and restrictions around what kinds of assistance voters with disabilities can receive at the polls.

The Biden administration also is challenging the changes state lawmakers made to mail-in voting. Officials claim new identification requirements could disenfranchise eligible voters.

"By requiring rejection of mail ballot materials that do not contain identification numbers that identify the same voter identified on the voter's application for voter registration," the lawsuit says, "SB 1 mandates rejection of written materials requisite to voting based on errors or omissions that are not material to determining a voter's qualification to vote or vote by mail."

In their lawsuit, DOJ officials also raise concerns about Texas' long history of passing laws that discriminate against vulnerable communities, including people with disabilities and people of color.

"The State of Texas's history of official voting-related discrimination against its disfavored citizens is longstanding and well-documented," officials wrote. "Federal intervention has been necessary to eliminate numerous devices intentionally used to restrict minority voting in Texas."

This is a developing story.

This story originally appeared on KUT. If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.

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