The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
New Orleans, Laredo, and Austin, September 30 – The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans temporarily stayed a ruling by United States District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, which blocked Texas’ law to eliminate straight-ticket voting after Judge Marmolejo had previously dismissed another lawsuit raising nearly identical claims.
The Texas Democratic Party filed the lawsuit over the change and claimed that the statute, which Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law last summer after the 86th Texas Legislature passed it, disproportionately harms black and Latino voters in big urban counties, where longer ballots result in longer wait times to vote.
Legislators and Governor Abbott supported the change away from straight-ticket voting in order to encourage voters to examine down ballot races and cast better-informed ballots on Election Day. Texas was one of the few remaining states in the United States to offer straight-ticket voting.
Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement today after U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo blocked Texas’ law to eliminate straight-ticket voting after dismissing a previous lawsuit raising nearly identical claims:
“I am disappointed that the Court departed from its prior reasoning and imposed straight ticket voting only weeks before a general election. My office has filed a motion to stay the district court’s injunction,” said Attorney General Paxton. “In addition, my office will file an immediate appeal of the district court’s ruling in order to defend the integrity of Texas’s electoral process and a practice used in 43 other states.”
The last minute litigation before early voting begins three weeks before the November 3, 2020, General Election has created enormous logistical uncertainty for local election officials across Texas.