People of Northwest Public Radio
It's All Politics
Mon March 12, 2012
Texas Voter ID Law Blocked By Justice Department
Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 3:31 pm
The U.S. Department of Justice has blocked a new voter ID law from going into effect in Texas. The department says the state failed to show that the law would not deny or limit minorities' right to vote. It's the second state voter ID law the department has blocked.
Texas, like several other states, has to have its voting laws cleared by the Justice Department because it has a history of voter discrimination. In a letter to the state's top election official, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ says it is blocking the new ID law because state figures show that Hispanic voters are far more likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack the required photo ID.
The department says Texas also showed no evidence that there's significant voter fraud that would justify the new requirement. The department made a similar decision in December to block South Carolina's new voter ID law. Both states are taking their cases to three-judge federal panels to get the decisions overturned.
Voter ID is cropping up as an issue in other states, too. A Wisconsin judge is expected to rule Monday on that state's law; another judge has already issued a temporary injunction against it.
(Updated 6:30 p.m. ET: A Dane County, Wis., judge on Monday permanently enjoined Wisconsin's new voter ID law, The Associated Press reported. In a statement, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he would appeal the decision, arguing the law is "consistent with the Constitution.")