Voter ID: U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered parties in the ongoing Voter ID suit to file briefs by July 5 discussing “the propriety and nature of relief” entitled by the plaintiffs and reply briefs by July 17. The court will not hold any new hearings on the matter but would “consider the Texas Legislature’s passage of [Senate Bill] 5 to the extent that, on its face, may be relevant to issues regarding remedies.” Senate Bill 5 was adopted to conform the law to judicial rulings requiring the state to provide a means for people to vote who have a reasonable impediment to obtaining one of the required photo identifications. In April, Ramos ruled “a discriminatory purpose was at least one of the substantial or motivating factors behind passage” of the state’s Voter ID law.
Voter Fraud: In a press release, Gov. Greg Abbott thanked Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) for their intention to file legislation cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud in the special election that has not yet been formally called. “I prosecuted countless cases of mail-in ballot fraud as Attorney General, but the problem continues to exist today,” Abbott said. “I applaud Rep. Goldman and Sen. Hancock for their commitment to strengthen penalties for those who undermine the integrity of our elections.” Mail-in ballot fraud is one of 20 items Gov. Abbott said would be included in a call for a special session, which he said would begin July 18.
HD11: Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) announced he would seek re-election.
HD47: Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) announced he would seek re-election. At least four people have taken a formal step toward challenging him as Democrats.
HD136: Rep. Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) announced he would seek re-election.
Austin: St. Edward’s Univ. police officer Shane Sexton filed paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential challenge of council member Ellen Troxclair (D8) and plans a July 21 campaign kickoff. The election will be held in November 2018.
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