Suit filed for online motor voter registration


Last week, the League of Women Voters of Texas and other plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit claiming Texas violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by not providing voter registration with driver’s license applications online.

This is a no-brainer, and a time-saver for individuals, but Texas doesn’t seem in a hurry to expand any voter registration efforts. LWV believes by not providing this access to online license users, the state is denying its voters their rights.

Known as the Motor Voter Law, the NVRA requires states to ensure the opportunity for voters to register to vote or update their voter registration each time they obtain, renew or update their driver’s license. In Texas, this opportunity is only offered when eligible residents appear at a Texas Department of Public Safety office in person, instead of when they update or renew their license online.

For background, the National Motor Voter Law was enacted in 1993 to enhance voting opportunities for those who had been traditionally denied. Texas has dragged its boots ever since.

Even Circuit Judge James Ho, an appointee of President Donald Trump, agreed the plaintiffs in a 2015 case that was overturned had “endured an injury” and were “unable to exercise their right to vote. We can hope it is a deprivation they will not experience again …,” Ho said.

The Texas Civil Rights Project is representing the plaintiffs in the case.

Texas should offer every opportunity to register to vote in a timely manner. For too long, the state has been OK with status quo, even as it boasts rapid growth and an expanding population.

Texas is a great state. Making sure all Texas voices are heard will make it even better. — K.E.C.