Federal Government Says Texas Voter ID Law Is No Longer Discriminatory
The U.S. Department of Justice said that Texas has removed all discriminatory effects from its voter ID law.
The agency told U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos this week that Texas lawmakers fixed the measure in May, adopting a weaker version, The Associated Press reported. Voters can now cast a ballot without an ID—but they have to sign an affidavit.
If they’re caught lying, it’s a felony, AP reported.
Federal courts have said that the original Texas law was tantamount to discrimination against certain minorities and the elderly, according to The Dallas News.
“Texas’s voter ID law both guarantees to Texas voters the opportunity to cast an in-person ballot and protects the integrity of Texas’s elections,” the DOJ’s filing stated, as reported by the Texas Tribune.
The law, meanwhile, “addresses the impact that the Court found in [the previous law] by dramatically reducing the number of voters who lack acceptable photographic identification,” the DOJ argued. Ramos, it said, should “decline any further remedies.”
Former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice agreed with civil rights groups against Texas over the voter ID law, the subject of a years-long legal fracas.
In separate filings, lawyers who are challenging the voter ID law called on Ramos to overturn the identification requirements.
“At its core, [the law] maintains the same unexplained picking and choosing of ‘acceptable’ photo IDs for in-person voting—accepting IDs disproportionately held by Anglo voters and rejecting IDs disproportionately held by minority voters,” challengers of the law said in a brief, The Statesman reported.