The state reached a settlement with plaintiffs seeking to bring it in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the relevant portion of which is commonly referred to as “Motor Voter,” ending nearly seven years of litigation.

Under the agreement, the state “will continue to utilize and make permanent the changes to the online driver license renewal and change-of-address process to ensure that simultaneous voter registration is available to applicants.” These changes were implemented last year following previous rulings, all three of which sided with the plaintiffs.

According to the Texas Civil Rights Project, more than a million Texans have registered to vote or updated their voter registration using this process since it was put in place 10 months ago. The group was a plaintiff in the case.

“The freedom to vote hinges on access to participation, and the ability to register to vote online is essential to Texans’ right to this access,” said Grace Chimene, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. “This five-year-long protracted lawsuit was only necessary because the state of Texas has continuously refused to implement this right.”

Online voter registration is available only to residents renewing their driver’s license of changing their address using the state’s online portal. Texas is one of eight states that does not provide online voter registration for most residents.

AG: U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) endorsed Land Comm. George P. Bush’s (R) challenge of Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R).

SD10: Arlington attorney and State Republican Executive Committee member Warren Norred re-established his campaign account for a potential challenge of Sen. Beverly Powell (D-Burleson). Norred represented Pilot Point salon owner and former SD30 candidate Shelley Luther during challenge of Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) executive order and local restrictions issued during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for a seat on the State Board of Education in 2002 (38%).

HD23: Bacliff resident John R. Robinson established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville). We were unable to identify him conclusively.

HD52: The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reported that Round Rock attorney Nelson Jarrin is expected to announce he would challenge Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock) as a Republican. Jarrin, a former staffer for Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), is at least the third Republican taking a formal step toward entering the race, joining Round Rock legislative aide Caroline Harris and Hutto software engineer Tjitse Miller.

Austin: The city clerk certified a citizen petition seeking to set a minimum staffing level for the city’s police force. The measure will be on the November 2 ballot. The petition was organized by Save Austin Now, a group that successfully placed a measure to reinstate the city’s public camping ban, which was approved by voters in May.

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