Voto Latino Sues Texas Over Unconstitutional Voting Restrictions
Washington, DC – Voto Latino, the nation’s premier Latinx voter engagement organization, has sued the Texas Secretary of State over various provisions of the Texas Election Code that severely burden Texans’ right to vote in light of the COVID-19 global health crisis. These provisions (together, “Vote By Mail Restrictions”) include the requirement that voters pay for postage to return their early mail-in ballots; the requirement that early mail-in ballots be postmarked by 7:00 pm on election day and received by the county by 5:00 pm the day after the election; the provision that establishes county signature verification and fails to require that voters be given an opportunity to cure; and the criminalization of third-party assistance in returning a marked mail-in ballot.
The Vote By Mail Restrictions burden the rights of Texas voters by making it difficult, if not impossible, to vote by mail and ensure that the votes cast in their mail-in ballots are counted. The Restrictions are likely to effectively disenfranchise countless voters, with the most significant impact on voters of color. “The actions of Texas’s highest elected officials are nothing more than a shameless ploy to disenfranchise millions of Texan voters by forcing them to choose between their health and safety, and their constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote,” said Voto Latino Founding President and CEO, María Teresa Kumar. “The requirement to pay for postage for mail ballots should absolutely be seen as a modern-day poll tax. The executive branch of Texas is weaponizing a global crisis in order to suppress the vote of their own constituents.”
Voto Latino has filed the complaint alongside several individual plaintiffs, as well as the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. It is represented in this lawsuit by Perkins Coie LLP.
Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, we shepherd the Latinx community towards the full realization of its political power.