Four Texans sued last week in an Austin state court, saying the purge of voter lists violates state and federal election laws and could affect Texans who want to vote in November.
They said those who might not be able to respond in 30 days would have their voting rights compromised.
State District Judge Tim Sulak issued a temporary restraining order, preventing state election officials from ordering counties to remove the names of "weak match" Texans from the voting list. The ruling doesn't prevent letters from still being sent to Texans on the "strong match" list. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Secretary of state officials say they don't comment on pending litigation. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked the judge to throw out the restraining order and let election officials continue their work.
Raborn said he's not sure how the court actions will affect local efforts to update voter rolls. "We are going to have to wait and see," he said.
Either way, election officials face a time crunch no matter how that situation is resolved.
The deadline for most of the affected voters to return forms saying they are alive falls shortly before Oct. 9, which is the voter registration deadline. That is generally a busy time for election officials because not only are new voters registering, but also current voters are making address and name changes.
State election officials have said updating the lists is something that simply has to be done.
"We have an obligation to maintain clean voter registration lists," Rich Parsons, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said last week before the restraining order was issued. "Counties have an obligation to maintain clean voter registration lists. This process works best when we all work together to meet that mandate."