The Justice Department is suing Texas over the state’s new voting law, arguing that the measure violates the Voting Rights Act by limiting the help that poll workers can provide to voters, runs afoul of the Civil Rights Act by requiring mail-in ballots to be thrown out if they fail to include a voter’s current driver’s license number, an election identification number or part of a Social Security number, and disenfranchises marginalized communities, reports the New York Times.
The law includes measures barring election officials from sending voters unsolicited absentee ballot applications and from promoting the use of mail voting, as well as further limiting the use of drop boxes. The law also greatly expands the authority of partisan poll watchers. The Justice Department also filed a statement of interest in a federal lawsuit against the Texas voting law that was brought by Latinx organizations. The lawsuit focuses on measures in the new law that limit the types of help that poll workers can offer voters, including translation and other assistance. The law creates new civil and criminal penalties for poll workers who run afoul of the rules. Democrats in Congress have been unable to force through any federal voting rights legislation, leaving the Justice Department as one of the lone means by which the Joe Biden administration can combat restrictive voting laws.