Attorney representing Starr County voters calls for change to state voting law

Local News
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Starr County voting (Source: KGBT Photo)

February 07 2021 06:00 pm

A Houston-based attorney is trying to change state voting laws.

On Monday, Jared Najvar appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Hinojosa in McAllen as part of a lawsuit challenging the state’s signature match-requirement.

Najvar is representing four elderly voters from Starr County whose mail-in ballots for the March primary elections were rejected by the ballot board because the voters’ signatures didn’t match their application.

“We are asking the court to find that the current procedures in Texas are unconstitutional and violates your right to vote and due process,” said Najvar.

This lawsuit would be the first of its kind in Texas. Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states, including Florida and New Hampshire.

Najvar is asking the court to order a process by which voters are notified in a timely manner when their mail-in ballots are flagged. This way, he said, they could prove their identity before the voting deadline.

In the primary 2018 election, 147 ballots were rejected in Starr County for signature mismatches, according to Najvar.

On Monday, Judge Hinojosa dismissed two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, both of whom were candidates in the 2018 election. Hinojosa ruled that those candidates should’ve raised their election concerns during the state election contest.

A separate plaintiff, Amelia Martinez, was also dismissed from the case because she is deceased.

Parties will reconvene in July.

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