US Department of Justice files lawsuit against Texas over SB 1 voting restrictions

The Justice Department lawsuit targeted aspects of the bill that restricted the help polling officers could provide, as well as restrictions on mail-in ballots (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The United States Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State for voting restrictions imposed by Senate Bill 1.

Senate Bill 1, or the Election Integrity Protection Act of 2021, was enacted on September 7 at the end of the Second Session of the 87th Legislature and is expected to come into force on December 2. The bill introduces sweeping voter registration reforms in Texas. , advance voting and voter assistance, according to its summary on the Texas Legislature’s website.

The DOJ complaint alleges that SB 1 violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by limiting the type of assistance to voters who cannot read or write, or to people with disabilities.

“The complaint alleges that Senate Bill 1 harms these voters by preventing their assistants from providing necessary assistance, including answering basic questions, responding to requests for clarification of translations of ballots or confirming that visually impaired voters marked a ballot as expected, ”the department said. in a press release on its website.

The DOJ also alleged that the bill violates section 101 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by requiring the rejection of mail-in ballots with certain errors or omissions.

The Justice Department said it has filed an expression of interest in a private case suing Gov. Greg Abbott over SB 1. The case is currently being heard in US District Court for the Western District of Texas.

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