Texas Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Online Voter Registration Case


A U.S. district court judge in Texas on Friday denied a motion to dismiss the case Vote.org v. Callanen, which concerns the state’s online voting registration rules that are being challenged by voting rights advocates, Democracy Docket reports.

Vote.org contends that the “wet signature” law in Texas is unduly burdensome when it comes to the right to vote, violating the First and 14th amendments as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They also claim that the law targets groups that advocate on behalf of voters’ rights, such as Vote.org.

U.S. District Judge Jason Pulliam rejected a motion to dismiss this case on Friday, just as the court rejected a previous motion to dismiss the case in the fall. It also rejected a motion filed by the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which was joined by two local elections officials that argued Vote.org lacked proper standing to bring the lawsuit and that the complaint filed was insufficient.

The judge ruled that Vote.org has provided sufficient proof that the law could harm its attempts to help voters register, and also determined that the court could provide the relief that the organization has requested.

Pulliam ruled that the codification of the “wet signature” law “means that any future applications prepared using the [Vote.org] app will also be rejected, making Vote.org’s voter registration app obsolete in Texas and the Texans Vote.org serves will be denied the opportunity to submit a voter registration by fax without first having to print the application form or obtain it from a voter registration application distribution site … Moreover, a hard copy application requires the registrant to have access to a scanner and computer or a stand-alone fax machine in order to fax the hard-copy application to the County registrar. Thus, Plaintiff sufficiently alleges causation.”