Summary: The state of Texas is fighting to keep its voter ID law in-tact, which took effect in June of 2013, but a trial will begin this week to determine if it is legal or not.
A state law in Texas that requires voters to show government-issued photo ID prior to voting is being opposed by Democrats and minority groups, according to a report in The New York Times.
Eric H. Holder Jr., the United States attorney general, is one of the biggest opponents of the law.
Justice Department lawyers will attempt to convince a judge in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas to strike down the voter ID law.
“It’s more of a political argument than it is a legal argument,” said J. Gerald Hebert, one of the lawyers for several plaintiffs suing the state. “Texas wants to argue about everything except the facts of this case.”
Texas and eight other states are required to receive permission from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington when making changes to their voting regulations, according to the Voting Rights Act. The reason for this is the history of discrimination in the states.
“Voter ID has already been used in several elections in Texas without the disenfranchisement claimed by partisans who seem to be against election integrity,” said Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott.
The voter ID law in Texas took effect in June of 2013 and is one of the toughest in the country. Voters must identify themselves with one of five types of government-issued IDs. These types include a passport, a driver’s license or a concealed-handgun license. If someone in Texas does not have any of these forms of IDs, they can obtain an election identification certificate, which is almost like a driver’s license.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.