A federal appeals court judge struck down a voter suppression law in Texas that required voters to provide their ID at the polls, reported ABC News. President Obama’s administration has been using the power of the Justice Department to fight discriminatory voter suppression laws.
The law, passed in 2011, carries a “discriminatory effect” and violates the Voting Rights Act, according to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Approximately 13.6 million Texas voters were required to provide a photo ID at the ballots during the 2014 election. Out of all the voter suppression laws in America (such as Wisconsin and North Carolina), the Texas law was considered the harshest and most conservative. Texas requires one of seven forms of approved identification, but unlike other states with voter ID restrictions, Texas doesn’t recognize university IDs from college students. It does, however, accept concealed handgun licenses as proof of identity.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa lauded the federal appeal court’s ruling. “Today’s ruling is a victory for every Texas voter,” said Hinojosa. “Once again, the rule of law agrees with Democrats. The Republican voter ID law is discriminatory.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) doubled down on the voter suppression law, which was signed by his predecessor, former Gov. Rick Perry (R). “In light of ongoing voter fraud, it is imperative that Texas has a voter ID law that prevents cheating at the ballot box,” said Abbott. “Texas will continue to fight for its voter ID requirement to ensure the integrity of elections in the Lone Star State.”
Voter fraud is a virtually non-existent problem. Yet, Republicans use that excuse to push voter ID laws that discriminate against any demographic that tends to vote for Democrats. Like gerrymandering, it’s a cheap tactic used by the GOP to gain an inside edge during elections.