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Central Health Response to Lawsuit

In response to a lawsuit filed today against Central Health regarding Proposition 1 on the upcoming Nov. 6 ballot, Vice President of Planning and Communications Christie Garbe reported, “Central Health has a pre-clearance letter from the U.S. Department of Justice approving our ballot language.”

Central Health timely sought and received on Oct. 15, 2012, the pre-clearance required from the federal government prior to the election from the Department of Justice, whose letter is excerpted below:

This refers to the joint election procedures for the November 6, 2012, special tax election, including county conduct of the election, use of county early voting locations and hours, the change to the ballot format, and the jurisdiction name change from Travis County Hospital District to Travis County Healthcare District d/b/a Central Health in Travis County, Texas, submitted to the Attorney General pursuant to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. 1973c. We received your submission on August 27, 2012; additional information was received through October 10, 2012.

The Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the specified changes. However, we note that Section 5 expressly provides that the failure of the Attorney General to object does not bar subsequent litigation to enjoin the enforcement of the changes. Procedures for the Administration of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 28 C.F.R. 51.41.

The ballot language, which was approved by the Board of Managers on August 15, 2012, was included in the approved submission to the Department of Justice. Please note the Department of Justice statement, “The Attorney general does not interpose any objection to the specified changes.”

Central Health’s submission to the Department of Justice is public information and has been available since late August. Central Health learned earlier today that the lawsuit had been filed in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas. The suit alleges Central Health violated the Voting Rights Act by failing to submit ballot language to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The full Department of Justice Letter is attached as a PDF.