January 21, 2022

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans Demands More Voter Registration Forms Be Made Available

 Says decision limiting voter registration forms violates
National Voter Registration Act

 AUSTIN – The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans (TARA) sent a demand letter to Texas Secretary of State John B. Scott today, stating that his decision to limit the number of voter registration forms his office provides to TARA and other voter registration organizations is a violation of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”).

The letter also states that Scott’s decision is a change from the former practice of providing voter registration forms to voter registration organizations based upon the organization’s needs.

TARA is demanding that Secretary Scott immediately reverse this practice and reinstate its former practice of providing voter registration forms to voter registration organizations based upon the organization’s needs, without any cap on the number of forms provided.

Section 6 of the NVRA requires the Texas Secretary of State to “make the [voter registration] forms . . . available for distribution through governmental and private entities, with particular emphasis on making them available for organized voter registration programs.”

Voter registration organizations play a critical role in registering individuals to vote in Texas — particularly because Texas is one of only eleven states that does not provide their residents the ability to register to vote online.

“This is another example of blatant voter suppression in Texas. Any cap on the number of voter registration forms provided to voter registration organizations is concerning and impedes our ability to conduct our work,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “It is especially troubling that this change makes it harder for older Texans to register to vote, when many seniors no longer drive, or have other mobility issues, and are not permitted to register online.”

“Safeguarding the right to vote is particularly crucial now, with the January 31, 2022 deadline to register to vote for the March 1 primary election fast approaching,” Fiesta added.

“Limiting access to voter registration forms is yet another way that the state of Texas has made it harder to vote,” said Gene Lantz, President of the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. “Saying that the price of paper has gone up, which is one excuse that has been reported, when the state has a $7.85 billion surplus, just does not make sense.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

Written notice of a violation of the NVRA is required before an aggrieved organization may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation.

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Contact: David Blank, dblank@retiredamericans.org

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