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US Justice Department Is Suing Texas Due to Voting Restrictions That Violate Civil Rights, Voting Access

On Thursday, November 2, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State over key components of their Republican-led voting law that violates the federal protections for civil rights and voting access.

US Justice Department

US Justice Department (Photo: Reuters)

Justice Department Challenges Provisions of Senate Bill 1

NBC News reported that the lawsuit the Justice Department filed against Texas alleges that Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) violates a part of the federal Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act through its restrictive voting law at polling locations and absentee ballots.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit that the country’s democracy lies on the voters’ right to cast a ballot and to have that ballot be counted. He emphasized that the Justice Department will continue to use all authorities under its jurisdiction to protect this cardinal pillar of society.

How Does Senate Bill 1 Affect Voters?

According to ABC News, Senate Bill 1 violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act, in which voters who have a disability or are unable to read or write are restricted to have assistance in the polling booth.

More so, the Justice Department accuses the law of violating Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act, in which it rejects mail ballots and mail ballot request forms. They have already filed a complaint in civil court to prohibit Texas from enforcing the provisions that violate voters’ rights. 

This case is similar to a case they filed against Georgia in June that also alleges a violation of Section 2 of the Civil Rights Act.