Ruling comes one week before Super Tuesday voter registration deadline.
San Antonio, Tex.––Yesterday Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered Texas to register three citizens to vote based on the information collected from their last online driver’s license change-of-address transaction, by Monday at the latest. Monday is the deadline for Texans to register to vote in the March 3rd primary. Effectively, these three people will get retroactively registered to vote online.
This is not the first time the state has been sued for violating the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as the “motor voter” law. That law requires the State to provide voter registration whenever someone renews or updates their driver’s license in-person or online. Judge Garcia ordered the state to comply with the law in 2018, but a three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision on a technicality, holding that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring the suit.
Judge Garcia will issue a decision on a longer term solution at a later date. Voting rights activists are hopeful that voter registration through online driver’s license transactions expands to the rest of the state in time for some local elections in May and Election Day in November.