Texas Voter ID Challenge Gets Heated

The state of Texas is dragging its feet in the legal challenge to its voter ID law and the delays mean the state may not be able to implement its law for the 2012 election.

Currently the challenge rests before a panel of three federal judges who are to decide whether the law can go into effect despite the objections of the Justice Department that the law violates portions of the Voting Rights Act, and so far, the panel has not been impressed by the state of Texas.

The court said the state had “repeatedly ignored or violated directives and orders” of the court designed to expedite the discovery phase of the dispute and that Texas had failed to “produce in a timely manner key documents” challengers need in order to prepare their case. “Most troubling is Texas’ conduct with respect to producing its key state databases, which are central to Defendants’ claim that S.B. 14 has a disparate and retrogressive impact on racial and/or language minority groups,” the panel wrote in an order issued Tuesday.

At the heart of the dispute are requests by the Department of Justice related to discussions and meetings Republican legislators had about passing the voter ID bill. Texas has characterized those requests as a “fishing expedition” by “DOJ partisans who oppose the Voter ID law.”

But the Department of Justice has challenged the law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on the basis that it has a disparate impact on the minority populations of the state. An analysis of the state’s data found that Hispanic registered voters were far more likely than an average voter to lack a form of photo ID that would be acceptable under the new law.

A trial on the issue of the impact of the voter ID law is set to start on July 9th, but the conduct of Texas officials puts that date in question unless Texas turns over all relevant databases to the DOJ by today.

Related Stories:

Voter ID Bills Bad News For Women Voters

Texas Serves Up Voting Rights Challenge To SCOTUS

Photo from JasonLangheine via flickr.

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Debra Griffin
Debra B.3 years ago

Thank u

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson3 years ago

Proof to vote? YES! Need proof to write a check? YES.

Tony C.
Tony C.3 years ago

When you try and vote the party of NO out you better make sure that you can vote. Some States have changed their voter registration laws so that even if you wanted to vote you won't be able to. PLEASE CHECK the voter registration laws of the States that you live in NOW, so that you can have the right ID when it comes time to vote. PLEASE tell ALL your friends about this, especially students, seniors, immigrants and the poor. I am sure that the 1% will be flocking to the voting booths so that they can retain their power and money. The 99% had better start THINKING about what will happen if the republicans get in again. For example, no contraceptives which will lead to more people. Right now 7 BILLION PLUS. No abortions even for sick babies, unwanted babies because of rape or incest. No Jobs, undrinkable water because of fracking, war with Iran, no health care. Abstinence programs only, which do not work and many others. Sex Education is needed so that unwanted pregnancy and abortion can be lessened along with STD’S that can KILL your child. So if you don't vote and get as many as you can to vote along with you and the republicans get into power this may and probably will happen. Here is an idea, car pool with a car full to the voting booths (saves gas) and after you vote, have a party and KNOW that you have done your best for your country. Have a designated driver. PLEASE REMEMBER, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Edward N.
Edward N.3 years ago

Jesica seems to find the pulse of what is important. I read and article I like and then find out that she wrote it. Way to go Jessica. If only words could defeat ignorance.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Jane R.-But this is a non-existent problem. Hell we have trouble getting people to vote in this country as it is and photo idnetification laws threaten to disenfranchise 10-15% of legitimate voters in order to solve a problem that does not exist?

If they want to start providing photo-ID's to people when they register to vote I have no problem with that. I have no problem with the idea that people show ID when they vote. But that is not the intent of these laws. They are intended to stop legitimate voters from voting, not to solve a problem with non-legitimate voters from voting because that problem does not exist.

This is nothing but a stealth campaign by the right to stop legal citizen from exercising their voting franchise. If it ain't broke don't fix it and you certainly do not take away the voting rights of 10-15% of the population, most of whom are poor, elderly, disabled, or students.


Jane R.
Jane R.3 years ago

It's not about proof of residency, it's about proving you are the same individual as the person on the voter registration card. An individual can loan his/her card to someone else and let them vote in their place. A photo ID is to identify you as the same person whose name is on the voter card. Your face will have to match the photo.

Robby C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Produce ID or do not vote... And why does the state of TX have anything to worry about when it comes to contempt? BO & Holder dodge court orders w/out a care in the world... IF they don't have to answer to courts, than neither does TX or anyone else...

Beth K.
.3 years ago

Debra is full of stories like that, and never has proof of any of them.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Debra P.-Do you have a link or something to support your unsubstantiated claims? No, I did not think so. Legal residence is proved during the voter registration process not at the voting both.


Jason Waldo
Past Member 3 years ago

Sounds like Texas is aching for a summary judgement against them. Actually given the sheer size of the US prison system the State of Texas itself (I'm referring to the government officials and the soil itself, not the average Texan) would not significantly overcrowd it more than it is now in the event of a contempt citation being issued.

Now, if you would like to read about ACTUAL election fraud, just go to http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ where you can read all about how closed source election systems that are being used to count your vote are quite easy to rig and lack any kind of real accountability.

Of course the right wing fascists will not be happy until only right wing fascists can vote. There is an answer for that as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)