On August 2, U.S. District Court Judge Gregg Costa, an Obama appointee, enjoined five Texas laws that restrict groups and individuals that work in voter registration drives. The case is Voting for America v Andrade, southern district, cv-G-12-44. Here is the 94-page opinion.
The laws that were enjoined are: (1) no one can work in voter registration drives who doesn’t live in Texas; (2) no one can work outside one particular county; (2) payment to registration drive workers must be an hourly wage and compensation cannot be based on the worker’s productivity; (4) no completed voter registration forms can be photocopied by the registration drive workers or the registration drive organization; (5) all completed voter registration drives must be delivered to county elections officials in person, and they may not be mailed in.
The plaintiffs do not pay workers on a per-registration basis card basis, so they did not challenge the ban on paying on a per-registration card basis. But they did challenge the related law that says compensation cannot be based on the worker’s performance, and that part of the ban was enjoined. The plaintiff organizations want to be able to fire workers who do not do very much work.
The basis for the first three points is the First Amendment; the basis for the latter two points is that the Texas law conflicts with the federal law on voter registration forms, commonly known as the “motor-voter” law passed in 1993. Thanks to Chad Dunn for the link.