- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Battleground Texas, the liberal-leaning group aiming to register thousands of new voters, says Texas laws have made it harder to keep its volunteers eligible.

The deputy voter registrars that signed up with Battleground Texas and others lose their certification under state law at the end of this year, the Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1CHraRc ). Texas law allows registrars to serve two-year terms that expire at the end of even-number years.

While the two-year requirement has been law since the 1980s, a trio of bills passed in 2011 added new restrictions that Battleground Texas’ voter protection director Mimi Marziani called “wildly burdensome.”

“The only logical explanation is that all of those things are aimed at the same goal, which is making it much harder to vote,” she said.

Texas Republicans have supported a raft of new restrictions aimed at stopping voter fraud, though opponents believe those laws are intended to suppress voting by minorities, the poor and traditionally Democratic constituencies.

But Texas Sen. Jim Murphy, a Houston Republican who sponsored the bill creating training for deputy registrars, said that while more training might inconvenience volunteers, the effort was worth it.

“It takes away the defense of, ‘I didn’t know I couldn’t do that,’” Murphy told the newspaper. “Clearly, I would agree it’s additional work, but so is having insurance for your house if it burns down.”

Battleground Texas officials said they’ll still push to re-register their volunteers and try to add more voters.

Texas has not elected a Democrat to a statewide office in two decades, and Battleground Texas was created in part by former organizers by President Barack Obama who say they can make the state competitive for Democrats in state and national elections.

The group suffered a major setback when Wendy Davis was crushed this year in the Texas governor’s race by Republican Greg Abbott, despite expectations that new Democratic voters would help Davis.

___

Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide