Texas Officials Settle Suit Over Voting Rights

     HOUSTON – Texas officials and the state Democratic Party settled a voting-rights lawsuit accusing Republican officials of harassing Democratic and minority activists who were helping elderly or disabled voters mail in their ballots.

     The Texas Democratic Party and six individuals agreed to drop their suit against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Secretary of State Phil Wilson, and state officials said the state would “ensure that elderly and disabled voters are properly informed about legal protections.”
     Plaintiffs claimed Abbott had aggressively prosecuted mail-in voters for technical violations.
     Their lawyer, J. Gerald Herbert, said Abbott also agreed to provide clearer instructions on mail-in ballots, discuss clarifying the law on the state’s Web site and drop charges against two plaintiffs who allegedly violated absentee-voting rules.
     The state attorney general’s office claimed the settlement as a victory, saying the plaintiffs had “discovered that their claims were without basis in fact or law” and “dropped their lawsuit.”

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