HOUSTON, Texas — United States District Court Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos issued a permanent injunction on Saturday requiring Texas to return to enforcing the in-person voter identification requirements that existed before Senate Bill 14 became the law. Ramos is an Obama appointee serving in the Corpus Christi Division of the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Texas. The fight over whether the voter ID law will be enforced is creating uncertainty for election officials in Texas. Early voting in Texas starts on Monday, October the 20th.
Judge Ramos issued an opinion this past Thursday holding that the Texas Voter ID law “constituted an unconstitutional poll tax.” Ramos also opined that “SB 14 creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose.”
Stan Stanart, the County Clerk for the largest county in Texas, Harris County, told Breitbart Texas that “we start delivering equipment and forms to the early voting locations this Wednesday, October 15th. Our second election law class is that same evening. With 41 early voting locations, the delivery of equipment and supplies for early voting is underway this week. We are in the middle of training over 1500 Election Judges and Alternate Judges. On Election Day, with 769 polling locations, it takes approximately 6,000 workers to run elections in Harris County. Swapping out forms, providing additional training materials, and properly communicating changes this late before voting is a big job.
Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott has indicated that he is going to appeal Ramos’ decision and ask the Fifth Circuit to issue a stay to allow Senate Bill 14 to remain in place for the November 4thelection.
Lauren Bean, spokesperson from Abbott’s Office told Breitbart Texas that “The Attorney General’s Office will take all legal action necessary to avoid voter confusion and ensure that the law is in effect for the upcoming election.”
Michael Gibson, Chairman of the Fort Bend Republican Party, a county that is the most diverse in the nation and votes Republican by 20-30% margin, told Breitbart Texas “An activist judiciary continues to try to overturn the will of the people. I am confident that the Fifth Circuit will issue a stay and enable Texas to protect the integrity of our elections.”
Paul Simpson, Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, told Breitbart Texas that “Voter ID has worked smoothly for three elections. It shows Republican leadership makes Harris County, and Texas, work. Democrats, faced with failed candidates and failed policies, now resort to confusion and chaos. We can’t let them steal or wreck our elections, our county, or our State. So every Republican needs to vote so we have a resounding victory this November.”
Follow Lana Shadwick on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.