• Awards are Nice. But Insuring Every Texan Gets to Vote is the Biggest Reward
  • November 14, 2016
  • Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
  • Did your Texas voter registration through DPS jeopardize your ability to vote? If so, you are not alone, as highlighted in a recent Dallas Morning News article. In less than two years, over 5,000 people filed complaints for similar issues. Several lawyers at Waters Kraus & Paul partnered pro-bono with Battleground Texas to make the state correct this situation. As a result, the Texas Civil Rights Project will honor four Water Kraus & Paul lawyers at their 26th Annual Bill of Rights dinner, on November 10, 2016, with their prestigious 2016 Kristi Couvillon Award: Peter A. Kraus, Caitlyn Silhan, Charles S. Siegel and Rachel A. Gross.

    The award is named for Kristi Couvillon, a former TCRP law clerk who was a strong advocate for social justice and worked tirelessly with the Texas Defender Service before she tragically passed away in 2010. The award is bestowed on those who exemplify the values she embodied.

    “It is a worthwhile project and it is great that they are recognizing it,” says partner Peter Kraus, one of the lawyers on Stringer v. Cascos, the lawsuit filed against the State of Texas for refusing to register eligible voters who update their information through the Department of Safety website. This practice violates the U.S. Constitution and the federal “motor voter” law.

    This is all part of the ongoing efforts of Battleground Texas to make sure that every person in the state who wants to vote gets their constitutional right to do so.

    This glitch in the system is being cleared up thanks to the diligent work of these organizations, but please take note that updating your address on your driver’s license through the Texas Department of Public Safety does not currently guarantee that your voter registration will also be updated. This is important to note as the country heads to the polls in November to elect the next president. Texans may double check their registration status at the Texas secretary of state’s website. If a would-be voter finds the DPS did not register them as expected, they may request a provisional ballot that would be accepted if paper indicates the “I want to register” box is checked.