Voter Registration Changes OK’d
New voter registration rules in Texas can be enforced ahead of the November elections after a court cleared the way for the new rules Thursday.
The rules were passed in 2011, aimed at restricting some third-party groups that go out and register people to vote. One new rule says that a person who registers people to vote in Texas must be a Texas resident himself. Another says that people collecting voter registrations can’t be paid based on collecting a certain number.
The non-partisan group Voting for America sued the state saying the rules make it harder to register people to vote. A judge put the rules on hold last month, but yesterday an appeals court lifted that hold. Linda Krefting, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas, says the new rules don’t affect her group as much as some, but she points to the state’s historically low voter turnout.
“And part of our problem is low voter registration, particularly among certain groups,” Krefting said. “So we think all kinds of outreach are legitimate and we ought to encourage voter registration any way we can do it.”
The state argues the new rules are meant to prevent voter fraud. The changes do not affect people registering to vote on their own.
There’s about a month left to register in time for the November elections. The deadline is Oct. 9.