Houston, TX (February 10, 2022) - A preliminary injunction hearing in Longoria v. Paxton, a lawsuit challenging Texas’svoting bill SB 1, is scheduled for Friday, February 11 at 9 a.m. The Harris County Attorney’s Office, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges are seeking a preliminary injunction on behalf of the Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria challenging the state’s new restrictions on her ability to encourage voters to vote by mail. The portion of SB 1 in question not only makes it illegal for the Elections Administrator to solicit mail-in ballots—which is legal under Texas law for many categories of voters—but also makes it a crime.
“As we approach the deadline to apply for mail ballot voting for the March Primary Election, we can see the confusion this law has caused. SB1 makes it a crime for public officials and the folks who run our elections to encourage voters to vote by mail. It criminalizes constitutionally-protected speech and makes it harder to vote,” said County Attorney Menefee. “I am hopeful the court will step in and put a stop to this. Our senior citizens, voters with disabilities, and many others can benefit from voting by mail. Public officials should be able to encourage them to do so.”
First Assistant County Attorney Jonathan Fombonne will argue at the hearing on behalf of Elections Administrator Longoria. If granted, the preliminary injunction would bar enforcement of SB1 as the lawsuit moves through the courts, allowing Administrator Longoria and other public officials to proactively encourage voters to consider voting by mail. The Harris County Attorney’s Office filed the lawsuit with its co-counsel on December 10 and filed the motion for a preliminary injunction on December 28.