Federal judge rules that Texas’s online driver’s license application system violates federal voter registration law, commonly known as the Motor Voter Law
DALLAS — Judge Orlando Garcia, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, has granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in Stringer v. Pablos. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the state of Texas is violating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Equal Protection Clause by failing to register eligible Texas voters when they go to renew or update their driver’s licenses online. Each plaintiff is a Texas voter who attempted to update their voter registration during online driver’s license transactions and was subsequently denied the right to cast a ballot that counted. They are represented by the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) and their co-counsel at Waters & Kraus, LLP, Peter Kraus, Charles Siegel, Caitlyn Silhan, and Rachel Gross.
Since the beginning, TCRP and Waters & Kraus have argued that failures in the state’s online driver’s license renewal and change of address process have impacted more than 1.5 million eligible Texas voters annually. They filed suit against the state of Texas in 2016, and in March 2017 Judge Garcia denied the State’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The Court’s latest order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment was made public on April 3, 2018, and Judge Garcia will release his full opinion within two weeks.
“The Secretary of State and the Department of Public Safety have no excuse for violating the motor voter law requiring them to register eligible Texans who do business with the Department of Public Safety,” explained Peter Kraus, a founding partner at Waters & Kraus. “Our state officials should do everything possible to ensure as many Texans as possible participate in our democracy. This result helps to ensure that happens.”
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