Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit after it issued an opinion agreeing with Texas’s arguments that the three plaintiffs suing the state over its voter registration process lacked standing.
In May 2018, a U.S. District Court ruled that Texas violated the “motor voter” provision of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) because it does not allow individuals who use the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) online driver license renewal and change-of-address website to also update their voter registrations online. The court ordered Texas to design and implement a costly new online system and imposed numerous burdensome requirements on the state that are not mandated by federal law. The Fifth Circuit quickly granted Texas’s request for an emergency stay, and reversed the district court’s ruling, remanding the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the three plaintiffs’ claims for lack of standing.
“As enacted by Congress, the NVRA recognizes that requiring a voter to sign a voter registration application is an important means of upholding election integrity. Federal judges have no right to alter state voter registration processes on the whim of plaintiffs who are already registered to vote,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Election integrity is one of my top priorities, and requiring written signatures on voter registration applications is a necessary aspect of combating fraud and ensuring the security of our elections.”
Texas law governing voter registration generally requires written signatures on voter registration applications to deter and reduce election fraud. Currently, Texans who use the DPS driver license renewal and change-of-address website are sent to a separate page – administered by the Texas Secretary of State – where they can complete an online application, print it out, sign it, and mail it to their county voter registrar to ensure their ability to vote in upcoming elections.
To view a copy of the opinion, click here.