New website offers voter registration, how-to info

Posted on 20 Sep 2016 at 3:32pm
Abbott.Greg

Gov. Greg Abbott

Claiming that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton continue to defy court orders instructing them to get accurate information on how to register and how to vote, in the wake of a July decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the state’s strict voter ID law, Progress Texas officials announced today the organization has launched a new website “to combat the misinformation for Texas Republicans and to help ensure every Texan knows their voting rights — and how easy it is to exercise that right … .”

Following the 5th Circuit’s ruling and after being instructed to inform voters how easy the voting process will be this year, Texas officials negotiated new requirements in which voters would be able to use several alternative forms of identification if they do not possess one of the seven forms of ID required by Texas law and “cannot reasonably obtain it.” Voters would also have to sign a declaration to that effect.

But, as Houston Public Media reports, state officials changed the wording in their new “educational campaign” to “cannot obtain” and “have not obtained” the ID. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos agreed with the U.S. Justice Department that the change in language is misleading, and is likely to discourage minority voters from going to the polls.

Texas state officials now have less than five weeks to revamp its voter education campaign before the start of early voting.

Houston Public Media also notes that Judge Ramos is considering whether statements by Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, who said he would investigate everyone who signs such a declaration to make sure they aren’t lying, might be considered voter intimidation.

Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas, said his organization had created the non-partisan GoVoteTexas.org website “to help every Texan learn how easy it is to vote. Republicans refuse to accurately inform other Texans of their voting rights, so we’re doing it for them.

“It is scandalous,” Espinoza continued, “that the Republicans in charge keep trying to confuse voters and make this basic right seem difficult to exercise.”

Progress Texas also posted the video below to explain the content of the new website.

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