Friday, October 14, 2016

Odd TX Voting Law on Interpreters Scuttled Before Nov. Election

Part of an ongoing legal battle over a little-noticed provision of Texas Election requiring interpreters to be Registered Voters in the same County in which they are providing help.

Ahead of the November Election, a Federal District Judge has blocked Texas from enforcing that provision, ruling it violates the Federal Voting Rights Act.

Texas is appealing that ruling to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The requirement will not be in effect during the upcoming Election.

The Secretary of State’s office has updated poll worker training material to be consistent with the ruling, said spokeswoman Alicia Pierce. And voter education groups that focus on language-minority voters like Asian Texans are working to ensure that voters get the word they can bring just about anyone, including their minor children, to help them vote.

But the case has highlighted a provision of Texas Election law that appears to be at odds with Federal protections for voters unable to read or write in English. At the heart of the case is whether voters are expected to know the difference between an “interpreter” and an “assistor” in the eyes of Texas Election law.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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