News · Press Release

BREAKING: DCCC, DSCC, DNC, and Texas Democratic Party File Lawsuit on Ballot Order in Texas

Today, the DCCC, DSCC, DNC, and Texas Democratic Party filed a lawsuit to challenge a Texas law that provides Republican candidates with an arbitrary and unconstitutional advantage in their placement on general election ballots by mandating that candidates who belong to the same party as the governor are listed first on the ballot. This gives Republicans “first-listed” position and an unfair benefit in the 2020 elections.

Position bias is well documented and widely acknowledged. In Texas, the Republican candidates have been and will be listed first on all of the state’s ballots. This has been the case since 1995, and as a result has given GOP candidates for federal, statewide and local elections over the last 24 years an arbitrary and unfair benefit that will continue through at least 2022, when the next gubernatorial election will take place.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos issued the following statement:

“Politicians should not be in the business of drawing arbitrary partisan advantage into the law. As the 2020 election approaches, we’re challenging these unconstitutional provisions in states across the country. Voters have the right to be represented by public servants who were elected because of the merits of their ideas, not because they belong to the same political party as their Governor. That’s just common sense.”

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Catherine Cortez Masto issued the following statement:

“No candidate or party should benefit from an unfair advantage in our elections, and we will take every step available to correct these unconstitutional mandates. Voters should have faith that elections are fairly administered without bias, and that applies to the ballots they cast.”

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez issued the following statement:

“Democrats are taking every action possible to protect the integrity of our democratic process and ensure every voter can participate in a fair election. An unbiased ballot is one of the cornerstones of our democratic system, and this joint effort will help make sure no one political party is given an unfair advantage at voters’ expense.”

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“For years, Republicans in the state of Texas have benefitted from the unconstitutional advantage mandating that the party of the Governor is placed first on the ballot. For over twenty years, Republicans have used dirty tactics and tricks like ballot order to retain power.

“Elections should be fair and free. No political party should have an unfair advantage. There’s simply too much at stake. We thank our fellow plaintiffs the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC for their commitment to protecting the voting rights of all Texas. Texas is the biggest battleground state. We owe it to our voters to have the most fair and unbiased ballot in Texas history.”

Read the full complaint here.

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