Federal judge blocks Texas' elimination of straight-ticket voting

Talk 1370 Newsroom
September 26, 2020 - 8:43 am
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AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- With less than six weeks until the November 3 election, a federal judge on Friday blocked Texas from eliminating straight-ticket voting.

The practice, which allows a voter to choose one party's entire slate of candidates, was set to be removed according to a law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2017.

Texas Democrats sued over the change in March, saying the change disproportionately hurts Black and Latino voters in big urban counties, where longer ballots result in longer wait times. U.S. District Judge Mariana Garcia Marmolejo cited the coronavirus pandemic in her ruling, saying the state should not be making voting a longer process.

"Texas’ rules around voting during the pandemic have been perplexing," Garcia Mamolejo wrote. "Administering in-person voting the same way it has been administered for 100 years is not about a mere convenience to voters, it is about running an efficient electoral process that guarantees Texans a more effective opportunity to cast a ballot in a time when any additional time spent in line endangers the safety of poll voters, poll workers, and others not at the polls."

The state is expected to appeal the ruling.

Texas Democrats cheered the ruling in a statement. "Time and time again Republican leadership has tried to make it harder to vote and time and time again federal courts strike it down," said Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party said. "Texas Democrats will have to continue to win at the ballot box to protect the right vote."

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