Texas to Pay $450k for Hispanic Voter Intimidation

Texas to Pay for Voter Intimidation
By George Khoury, Esq. on May 03, 2019 3:10 PM

A recent settlement agreement was reached in the controversial lawsuit over the state of Texas's recent misguided attempt to conduct maintenance of their registered voters.

It was alleged that the state created a false narrative of voter fraud to intimidate Hispanic voters from going to the polls. In short, the state sent county officials questionably-accurate notices that thousands of registered voters were non-citizens and ineligible to vote. However, as the plaintiffs explained, that process would “wrongly target naturalized citizens.”

What Settled?

The alleged intimidation of Hispanic voters stemmed from the fact that notices sent to county officials created concerns that there was widespread voter fraud, and this would influence many voters against even showing up for fear that they might be harassed at the polls. The settlement in the case requires the state to revamp its plans to maintain its list of registered voters. Those new plans include a more in-depth review of purported non-citizen registered voters prior to notification of a county official. 

Who Got Paid?

In the end, the $450,000 is going to the lawyers who have been working on the case. Civil rights cases often have provisions that require defendants found liable of civil rights violations to not only correct and pay for the violations, but to also pick up the cost of the victim’s lawyers and legal costs. Notably, reports seem to suggest that the acting state secretary of state may no longer be a shoe-in for the permanent appointment as a result of the fallout from this case.

Voter Intimidation Doesn’t Take Much

While you might not view the spreading of false or misleading information as a form of voter intimidation, it actually is. Voter intimidation covers a wide range of conduct you might not otherwise think would amount to it. Additionally, it is a serious crime when committed by individuals and a major civil rights violation when committed by government entities.

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