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Israel sees ruling as opportunity for online registration

Thursday, April 5, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

A day after a federal judge ruled that Texas violated the National Voter Registration Act, state Rep. Celia Israel reiterated her call for the state to allow voters to register online. “We must stop denying Texans access to the polls immediately,” Rep. Israel said. “Texas is violating the National Voter Registration Act, and we have the resources and ability to act to fix that today. The Office of the Secretary of State, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Information Resources, and other experts have testified extensively on the state’s ability to carry out a secure and effective online voter registration program.” On Tuesday, The Texas Tribune reported that U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio determined that the state violated the federal law that stipulates that citizens be afforded the chance to register to vote when they apply for or renew their driver’s licenses. The state currently offers voter registration only for in-person license applications or renewals. The Tribune reports that Garcia will offer details in the coming weeks on how the state will need to change its policies in order to comply with the law. If he mandates online registration, he will fulfill a goal Israel has sought unsuccessfully during her first two legislative sessions. In 2015, her House Bill 76 died in committee. Last year, her House Bill 143 didn’t even receive a hearing.

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