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Texas Voter ID Law Castrated by Obama Administration
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While voter identification laws in a number of states including Wisconsin has already been struck down by courts, this is the second time the Obama administration steps in directly to block voter identification from coming into effect. The first one was in South Carolina. On Monday, the DOJ blocked the law in Texas from being implemented.

Opponents to voter ID laws often come up with the argument that the purpose of such laws – prevention of voter fraud – is something that has never been proved en masse.

Some on the other side hold that the federal administration is determined in their stand that the imposition of voter identification and attempts to ensure an elected government is ‘actually by the people’ are a challenge to democracy.

  
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Texas Governor Rick Perry said he was obligated to ensure the integrity of the elections and that, “The DOJ has no valid reason for rejecting this important law, which requires nothing more extensive than the type of photo identification necessary to receive a library card or board an airplane.”

However, civil rights groups maintain that the new laws requiring photo identity proof of voters are designed to suppress minority voters and preventing university students from exercising their rights. Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, a Texas Democrat said, “Photo identification requirements for voters drastically affect the electoral participation of  the poor, the elderly, and the transient, which means those who need their government’s ear most will be the last to be heard.”

The DOJ is certainly right in some of its contentions as at least one-third of the counties in Texas do not have offices where potential voters could obtain a state identification card or a driver’s license. The Obama administration also claimed that the efforts to educate voters about the new identification requirements remain incomplete and there was no evidence forwarded by the state that proved that voter identification was an issue improperly addressed by existing state laws.

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Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said “Hispanic registered voters are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic registered voters to lack such identification … The state has failed to demonstrate why it could not meet its stated goals of ensuring electoral integrity and deterring ineligible voters from voting in a manner that would have voided this retrogressive effect.”

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican said “Today’s decision reeks of politics and appears to be an effort by the Department of Justice to carry water for the President’s reelection campaign.”



The lawsuit is State of Texas v. Holder in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 12-cv-128.



 

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