Texas Voter Suppression Law Rejected by Federal Court

A federal court rejected a Texas voter identification law on Thursday. The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court decided that the law would unduly prevent minorities from being able to vote. If enacted, the law would have required voters to present one of six state-approved IDs before being able to vote. Voters would be responsible for getting the required ID and all associated paperwork at their own expense.

The court determined that requiring voters to present an ID that meets the law’s stringent guidelines will create a burden that will “fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty.”

Other voter suppression measures were blocked earlier this week. On Tuesday a federal court blocked a 2006 Ohio law that threw out ballots cast at the wrong precinct, even if they were cast at the correct polling location. On Wednesday, a federal court decided to permanently block strict voter registration laws in Florida.

Voter suppression legislation has recently passed in 19 states, with the legislation being put into law in 17 states. The laws have the potential to disenfranchise up to 5 million people in the U.S. and are specifically designed to target people of color, young people, women, and people living in poverty.

Media Resources: Maddow Blog 8/30/12; MSNBC 8/30/12; U.S. District Court 8/30/12 (via Election Law Blog); ThinkProgress 8/30/12 Feminist Newswire 8/31/12

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