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Texas Judge Bars State From Ordering Counties to Purge Voters

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 07:27 PM

 

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Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- A Texas state judge temporarily barred the secretary of state from ordering county election officials to purge presumably dead voters from registration rolls, saying the initiative appeared to violate the election code.

The ruling came after four Texas voters who were told they'd be purged from voter-registration lists as deceased sued the secretary of state, seeking to block the removal of presumed-dead voters from Texas's election rosters.

The voters asked a state district judge in Travis County to stop the state from striking about 77,000 people from the electoral rolls. They argued that the plan violated the Texas election code and the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Under the act, any changes to Texas's election rules must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department or a special three-judge panel.

“There is no statutory authority for this purge,” civil rights lawyer David Richards said in a phone interview while waiting for the judge to rule. “There was no pre-clearance of this and it is a clear change of procedure.”

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