The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) applauded a federal court order blocking the Texas law that limits access to interpreters for limited English proficient voters. The district court ruled that the Texas law, which requires interpreters to be registered voters, violates the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which protects the right of voters to select persons of their choice to assist them at the polls.
Jerry Vattamala, AALDEF Democracy Program Director, said: “This is a great victory for Asian American voters and all LEP voters across the state of Texas. The federal court recognized that Asian Americans still face barriers at the polls and that Texas had restricted their right to language assistance. We look forward to seeing improvements in the state’s compliance with federal law when we conduct our Asian American exit poll in the November presidential election.”
In his 21-page opinion in OCA-Houston v. State of Texas, federal district judge Robert Pitman granted AALDEF’s motion for summary judgment and enjoined the “Interpretation Provisions” of Texas Election Code 61.033, which “flatly contradict Section 208” of the VRA by “arbitrarily requiring the interpreter to be registered to vote in the county where assistance is being sought.”