IDville Blog | Texas to appeal federal court's voter ID ruling

Texas to appeal federal court's voter ID ruling

by Admin 31. August 2012 11:50

 

The State of Texas is challenging a federal court decision against requiring voters in the Lone Star State to display an official photo identification to vote on Election Day in November, according to a published report.

Lawmakers are upset about a U.S. District Court in Washington rejecting the proposed voter ID law mandating the use of an ID issued by the government and, in response, the state is aiming to petition the U.S. Supreme Court, The Daily Texan reports.

The law's supporters say it will help the effort to stave off voter fraud while those opposing the measure and additional voter ID laws maintain they slant against minorities' votes for two reasons. Many minorities are not in possession of a photo ID and they live great distance from an office that distributes the identification cards.

The proposed law augments the responsibilities of students as well, according to director Billy Calve with student government agency Hook the Vote at the University of Texas at Austin. The law would demand information on a civilian driver's license match with a voter registration address.

"If you reside at a West Campus apartment or a dorm on campus, you would have had to make sure your driver's license address matched that," Calve told the news source. "For many students, that is not the case. Students would have had to go out and get their driver’s license changed to match their Austin address."

The case was particularly based on minority rights rather than those of students, according to assistant law professor Joseph Fishkin.

But Texas opted against numerous amendments to the voter identification law that would have reduced its strictness and cut down on the chances that it would be rejected, the assistant law professor told the news source. One amendment advocated for student IDs' use as photo IDs when casting ballots.

"I wouldn't make too much of a big deal of this, but the state legislature's decision not to allow student IDs is one of the things that came back to haunt the state," Fishkin told the news source.

The Washington Post reports the three-judge panel described Texas' proposed law as the nation's most strict.

The publication notes this serves as the first instance of a federal bench intervening to block a voter ID law.

The federal court ruled that the state did not demonstrate that the statute would not be harmful to minorities' voting rights.

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