The United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State over voting restrictions imposed by Senate Bill 1.
Senate Bill 1, or the Election Integrity Protection Act of 2021, was signed into law Sept. 7 at the end of the second session of the 87th Legislature and is scheduled to take effect Dec. 2. The bill introduces sweeping reforms to Texas voter registration, early voting, and voter assistance, according to its summary on the Texas Legislature website.
The DOJ’s complaint alleges that SB 1 violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by restricting the type of aid for voters who cannot read or write, or those with disabilities.
“The complaint alleges that Senate Bill 1 harms those voters by barring their assisters from providing necessary help, including answering basic questions, responding to requests to clarify ballot translations or confirming that voters with visual impairments have marked a ballot as intended,” the department said in a statement on its website.
The DOJ also alleged the bill violates Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by requiring mail-in ballots with certain errors or omissions be rejected.
The Justice Department said it filed a statement of interest in a private case suing Gov. Greg Abbott over SB 1. The case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.