Today, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a key voting rights ruling, after a hearing, regarding the voting procedures that the Court ordered on August 10 as interim relief and that Texas must use in the upcoming November election. Today’s order makes clear that the alternative relief that the court ordered in August provides a process for eligible voters who do not possess, and cannot reasonably obtain one of the limited forms of SB 14 photo ID to cast a regular ballot. Before today’s hearing, Texas had been publicizing voter education and training materials that altered language in the Court’s order and was misleading to eligible voters.
Attorneys for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) offered the following reactions:
“LDF is committed to ensuring that Texas conducts fair elections in November that comply with the federal court’s interim remedial order,” said Leah Aden, Senior Counsel at LDF. “It is imperative that Texas provides eligible voters and Texas officials with accurate information about how voters can exercise their fundamental right to vote so that the disproportionately Black and Latino voters, who are the intended beneficiaries of the Court’s interim remedial order, are encouraged and not discouraged from participating in Texas elections.”
“More than 600,000 registered voters and one million eligible voters, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, face disfranchisement ahead of the first presidential election in half a century without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act,” said Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel at LDF. “It is our duty to ensure that the Court’s remedial order, designed to curb that disenfranchisement, is implemented as intended. It is vital that we combat any misinformation and threatening language surrounding the steps people need to take to vote in November.”
“Today’s ruling is a positive development,” said Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel at LDF. “Still, we continue to work to ensure that Texas officials stop making misleading and threatening statements, as they have been doing, about the Court’s interim remedial process in advance of November.”
LDF has prepared voter education materials to ensure that eligible voters have accurate information about how to vote in Texas elections. We are distributing these materials far and wide throughout Texas, including to civil rights organizations, students, sororities and fraternities, faith-based organizations, bar associations, and many others to ensure voter education in advance of November.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.