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Latino Daily News

Thursday August 22, 2013

U.S. Gov’t Sues Texas to Block Voter ID Law, Unfair to Latino, Minority Voters

U.S. Gov’t Sues Texas to Block Voter ID Law, Unfair to Latino, Minority Voters

Photo: Texas Voter ID

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The U.S. government through the Department of Justice has sued the state of Texas over its proposed Voter ID law, claiming it violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th amendments of the constitution.

Texas’ voter ID law, known as SB 14, requires government-issued photo ID’s before voting but will no longer allow student IDs as suitable identification. 

Studies have found that requiring photo IDs to vote negatively impacts the minority community the most because they are less likely to have the required identification.  Texas is being accused of discouraging and impeding a racial and/or ethnic minority’s right to vote as guaranteed under the Voting Rights Act.

Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP President noted, “Texas has a deeply disturbing history of brazenly suppressing the votes and voting strength of black and Latino voters.” 

Lat year, The Mexican-American legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) secured a federal court order blocking Texas’ voter ID law call it “one of the most restrictive” in the country. 

In making its decision the federal court held that Texas had placed “a substantial burden” on those exercising the right to vote for even the most “committed citizen” who would have to travel up to 250 miles at their own expense in order to obtain an ID and pay the $22 fee.

In June the lower court decision was thrown out by the Supreme Court ruling allowing Texas to move forward with its Voter ID law that is now being challenged by the U.S. government.