DOJ Rejects Texas Voter ID Bill

The U.S. Department of Justice rejected Texas’ application for preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of its voter ID law, saying the state did not prove that the bill would not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters.

States with a history of enacting voting rights restrictions designed to disenfranchise minority votes must have laws that change voting procedure “precleared” by the Department of Justice to ensure such laws are fair to minority voters. The requirement has always drawn the ire of conservatives and the Roberts Court has indicated it wants to revisit the requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

According to Texas’ own data, a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5% and potentially more than 120% more likely than a non-Hispanic registered voter to lack the required identification. From the Department of Justice:

ď[A]n applicant for an election identification certificate will have to travel to a driverís license office. This raises three discrete issues. First, according to the most recent American Community Survey three-year estimates, 7.3 percent of Hispanic or Latino households do not have an available vehicle, as compared with only 3.8 percent of non-Hispanic white households that lack an available vehicle. Statistically significant correlations exist between the Hispanic voting-age population percentage of a county, and the percentage of occupied housing units without a vehicle.”

“Second, in 81 of the stateís 254 counties, there are no operational driverís license offices. The disparity in the rates between Hispanics and non-Hispanics with regard to the possession of either a driverís license or personal identification card issued by DPS is particularly stark in counties without driverís license offices. According to the September 2011 data, 10.0 percent of Hispanics in counties without driverís license offices do not have either form of identification, compared to 5.5 percent of non-Hispanics. According to the January 2012 data, that comparison is 14.6 percent of Hispanics in counties without driverís license offices, as compared to 8.8 percent of non-Hispanics. During the legislative hearings, one senator stated that some voters in his district could have to travel up to 176 miles roundtrip in order to reach a driverís license office. The legislature tabled amendments that would have, for example, provided reimbursement to voters who live below the poverty line for travel expenses incurred in applying for the requisite identification.Ē

For its part Texas was anticipating the rejection (meaning they acknowledge this voter ID law does disproportionately impact minority voters) and plans to continue on with a lawsuit it filed last month to have the bill implemented immediately. The Justice Department has until April 9 to respond to the suit.


Related Stories:

Perry Challenges DOJ On Voter ID

Florida Argues Voting Rights Act Unconstitutional

SCOTUS Rejects Texas Court Redistricting Map

Photo from League of Women Voters of California via flickr.


Patti T.
Patti T.3 years ago

Ah People, Get out your History Books & brush up b/c it looks as though the GOP/TEA PARTY/RADICAL RIGHT WINGERS/KKK/and any others you can think of, have slowly but surely started to bring back the days of Slavery & White Supremacy where the Whites are Superior to people of African American, Asian, Hispanic Heritage (whether they were born here or not),etc., & let's not forget WOMEN! I'm not Ashamed to be White, I'm proud of my heritage, but I am NOT proud of other Whites trying to deny rights to American Citizens.
We will be on the fast track backwards if they get their way (and they prove that people can be bought)-no matter if MittWit wins or not (it obviously won't be on his record here or his Obvious Lack of Foreign Policy)-we will be at war with the entire mid-east if these people manage to pay MittWit into the White House. He may have wealth and power but his education & etiquette has yet to show up (if they're there at all)

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

"How does a homeless person (a person with no residential street address) get to vote?"

Several have brought similar points up & this is a valid concern. How would these people get TO the polls to vote even if they had legal photo ID? People should have a valid photo ID to vote! It should not show HOW they vote & it SHOULD be inexpensive & no more difficult to aquire than standard driver's license. I too fear that this is partly about revenue. That is wrong on every level. But one has to have ID to get a CC or open a bank account, get a job, etc, etc. Voting helps to change the future of our country & should be taken seriously. It is too easy to vote illegaly nowdays. I don't know what the answer is, but simple, inexpensive photo ID could be a good start, IF & only IF it's implemented correctly.

Karen F.
karen Friedmn4 years ago

We had all better beware of what the right wants to do, next we will have tatoos showing how we want to vote.

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley4 years ago

I think it's a good start.
It is a fact that many people here(Texas), black, white, latino, asian (or forms thereof) have no access to a reliable vehicle to get them the necessary distance to obtain the needed information. For many, of various races, they do not have the "extra" funds for the extra expenses.I'm sure it is the same in each state, and has little to do with "race" or "legal/illegal", and more to do with social networking and cold hard cash.

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Charles- they may not have physically stopped them & certainly would not have stopped me- I would have laughed in their faces, just like black people would laugh at KKK's these days. But, they DID intimidate some people, like elderly, etc. The whole idea was to make people think twice about voting, if they did not vote for BO. And w/all due respect, I don't see how it would be GW's AG, since Holder was the one who was supposed to prosecute & it was during BO's election. Holder's as worthless as tits on a boar.

Ahron E.
Ahron E.4 years ago

How do people prove there age when they go into a bar or purchase wiskey?

Myron Scott
Myron Scott4 years ago

How does a homeless person (a person with no residential street address) get to vote?

Charles P.
Charles P.4 years ago

Sorry Ribbie C. Just notice your post. Although I disagree woth the panther idiots, they did nothing but stand there. If people were afraid of them, that is the perceptin they took. They actually stopped no one from voting. Besides, wasn't it GWB's AG that dropped the investigation?

Charles P.
Charles P.4 years ago

If the bill would have a discriminatory effectin tx, why wouldn't have the same effect everywhere else? Capish?

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Jennie R- BS! I haven't seen a completely honest election in my lifetime. And left-wing-nuts here constantly say GW illegally won his elections- no love lost there from me. But BO's just as bad. And his & Holder's refusal to prosecute black panther idiots who tried (& in some cases succeeded) in intimidating voters, shows they don't want fair elections. And several states have investigated & found votes cast from dead people & we ALL know that illegals have voted in several recent elections, so don't tell me it doesn't happen.

Steve R- "Photo ID is cheap and easy. I'd bet that the majority of people that go to the polls DRIVE there!

Do they not have drivers licenses?

If not - I believe in most states (like Florida), a photo ID costs a mere $15!

Of course, you have to be a citizen or a LEGAL permanent resident to get one.

So what's the problem? Perhaps voter fraud maybe - Democrats who know they will lose votes if "undocumented aliens" have to produce photo ID in order to vote?"

Yeah, democrats would lose their illegal voter base & they know it. They'll never admit it, but it's been proven time & time again.

""DOJ Rejects Texas Voter ID Bill"....

In Obama's own words - "because it would disadvantage Hispanic voters""

Absolutely!!! And again, cost him votes. They give everything they can to get those illegal votes & are crying when someone notices & tries to stop it...LOL!