Federal Appeals Court Blocks LULAC In Texas Voter Suppression Case
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Moves Swiftly to Issue Decision on Eve of Early Voting
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) said Monday that the decision late today by the appeals panel removes the earlier injunction by United States Federal Court Judge Robert J. Pittman and allows Texas to have just one drop-off location per county for absentee ballots.
“This is clearly a setback for Texas voters,” says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “The ruling should send a strong message that voter suppression is allowed even when it threatens all Texans and our nation’s democracy. It is offensive to every reasonable American to allow a politician the power to stifle lawful votes and essentially rig the outcome to an election, especially during a pandemic. LULAC is prepared to fight this as far as we have to and make sure each of our voices is heard and every vote is counted,” he added.
Governor Abbott argued Texas cannot control security at remote absentee ballot drop-off sites and warned this would lead to voter fraud although he has been unable to provide evidence supporting his claims. Early voting starts Tuesday, October 13 and record levels of mail-in and absentee ballots are predicted from voters anxious to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19 if they vote in person.
“LULAC is fighting to protect the right of every voter in this critical election while State Attorney General Ken Paxton is doing everything he can to deny Texans that opportunity,” says Luis Roberto Vera, Jr., General Counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens. “Abbott and Paxton are rushing ahead at all costs because they know 5.6 million Hispanic votes are on the line. Our legal coalition is weighing the options including asking for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court,” adds Vera.
A new poll from the University of Houston and UNIVISION forecasts more than 90% of Hispanic voters in Texas are likely to vote in this election. “LULAC is non-partisan and what is important to us is transparency and integrity in the voting process,” says Linda Chavez, LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for the Southwest. “Seventy-nine percent of Hispanics interviewed said voting this year is even more important than it was in 2016 so our task is to do everything possible to remove barriers to lawful participation,” she adds.
Meanwhile, Hispanic civil rights leaders are focused on continuing get-out-the-vote efforts even as the court battle intensifies. “This only motivates us more,” says Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., State Director of Texas LULAC. “Starting tomorrow, the final countdown is on and we're working nonstop through November 3rd when the polls close. LULAC members are committed to urge every Hispanic who is able to vote to do so and the sooner the better given all the circumstances surrounding getting the ballots in and counted,” stated Rosales.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/