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Texas Permitted to Enforce Voter ID Law for November 4 Election
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Summary: In a blow to Democrats, Texas is permitted to enforce its Voter ID Law for the election scheduled for November 4, as ruled by an appeals court.

The voter identification law struck down in the state of Texas by a federal judge can be enforced for the election on November 4, according to Bloomberg. The news broke when an appeals court issued a ruling about the case.


The state of Texas was awarded emergency permission to enforce the law while it appeals the trial judge’s ruling. The ruling found that 600,000 registered voters would be kept from the polls.

The decision from the appeals court will help to slow the idea of the Democrats to increase voter turnout and might fuel some Republicans to make people prove their eligibility to vote in the upcoming election.

Republicans like the measures because they can help to prevent fraud. Democrats claim the rules are created to suppress turnout of poor, elderly and minority voters, who would be less likely to have photo IDs and more likely to vote for the Democratic candidates.

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“This is the most restrictive voter ID law in the country, and the trial court found it was unconstitutional and intentionally discriminated against minority voters,” said Jose Garza. Garza represented the civil rights activists who challenged the law. “Nevertheless, it will be used in the upcoming election, and that’s troubling to say the least.”

The Texas law was declared unconstitutional by a judge on October 9, which is the same day the United States Supreme Court blocked the same law in Wisconsin.

The law in Pennsylvania was blocked earlier this year and the law in Arkansas has been challenged in court as well.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans was asked by the state of Texas to keep the law active for this election because voters would be confused by changes this close to the election.

The opinion of the court was written by Edith Brown Clement, who said the decision was “based primarily on the extremely fast-approaching election date.”

The decision of the trial judge to block the law “substantially disturbs the election process of the state of Texas just nine days before early voting begins. The value of preserving the status quo here is much higher than in most other contexts.”

General counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens, Luis Roberto Vera Jr., said that the opponents to the law would seek emergency relief from the appeals court decision.

Lauren Bean is a spokeswoman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. In an emailed statement, Bean said, “The state will continue to defend the voter ID law and remains confident that the district court’s misguided ruling will be overturned on the merits.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry backed the law. Abbott is running against state Senator Wendy Davis this November to replace Perry as governor of Texas.

“It’s deeply disturbing that Greg Abbott would call a law the court said is intentionally discriminatory against African-Americans and Hispanics a ‘victory,’” Davis said in a statement. “As the court further said, it’s nothing more than a ’poll tax’, which means democracy and all Texans lose.”

The law was ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi. Ramos said the law intentionally discriminates against Hispanics and blacks.

In the filing, lawyers for the Justice Department wrote, “The United States does not question a state’s legitimate interest in protecting against voter fraud and ensuring the integrity of its elections. But states may not enact racially discriminatory laws that violate the Voting Rights Act merely by invoking that interest.”

Is the Voter ID Law fair in the state of Texas? Share your opinion using our poll.

Image credit: The Texas Tribune

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