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Texas Supreme Court rejects election suit

Monday, June 27, 2022 by Jo Clifton

The Texas Supreme Court last week rejected an effort by 13 Austin voters to force the city to hold an election in districts where voters chose their Council members just two years ago, or in the case of District 4 Council Member Chito Vela, in January. Attorney Bill Aleshire told the Austin Monitor that the high court had turned down the plaintiffs’ request for the court to step in. At issue is the fact that after redistricting some voters were moved into precincts not scheduled to select a Council member this November. Because they voted in their old district four years ago but won’t be able to vote for a Council member until 2024, Aleshire argued that his clients have been deprived of their constitutional right to vote. Travis County District Judge Lora Livingston ruled in favor of the city when the matter came before her in May. Both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court have now rejected the plaintiffs’ argument. That means District 2 Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, District 6 Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool, Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter in District 10 and Vela will retain their seats until 2024. The scheduling of district elections as set forth in the city charter staggers district terms to eliminate the possibility of all Council members being newly elected at the same time. Aleshire said Sunday he had filed a motion for re-hearing, the final procedural step he can take in the case.

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