For Immediate Release
Sept. 25, 2020
Contact: Angelica Luna-Kaufman
Federal Judge Blocks State from Eliminating Straight-Ticket Voting
‘Ruling a Victory for All Texas Voters,’ Says HCDP Chair
A federal judge on Friday blocked Texas from eliminating straight-ticket voting in the November election. The decision resulted from a lawsuit filed in Laredo by the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans against Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo of Laredo said House Bill 25, a Texas election law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in June, could result in longer lines for voters that “will significantly burden Texans’ right to vote” and “disproportionately impact minority voters” in violation of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
Garcia Marmolejo cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as playing a role in her order. She noted that “ballots in Texas elections are generally lengthy and may include up to 95 elections.” The elimination of straight-ticket voting could increase exposure to the virus due to the additional time needed to vote, she said.
“The additional time spent in line endangers the safety of voters, poll workers and others not at the polls,” Garcia Marmolejo wrote.
Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lillie Schechter said, “Today's ruling is a victory for all Texas voters. That the Republican party would continue to rally behind this voter-suppression strategy during a pandemic is especially abhorrent.
“We will continue to stand up against all attempts to make voting more difficult,” she said. “All Americans who want to cast a ballot should be able to do so as safely and conveniently as possible.”