Texas is asking for the federal government to approve its voter ID law in the lawsuit Texas v. Attorney General Eric Holder. Texas is also asking for the federal government to strike down a provision in the Voters Rights Act that requires states with a history of voter discrimination to get federal approval for new voter plans.
In March, the Justice Department struck down Texas voter ID law, pointing to Texas’ own data, which notes that more than 600,000 registered voters do not possess a driver’s license or ID card issued by the state’s Department of Public Safety. “Even using the data most favorable to the state, Hispanics disproportionately lack either a driver’s license or a personal identification card,” Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, wrote in the letter to Keith Ingram, the director of elections for the Texas Secretary of State.
A disproportional amount number of these voters are Latino, according to a Star-Telegram report. Texas countered that it public safety agency will provide free state voter ID cards, but the Justice Department found the fact that 81 of Texas’ 254 counties don’t have offices to be problematic.
It should be noted that in a June 2011 Rasmussen Poll, 75 percent of likely U.S. voters “believe voters should be required to show photo identification, such as a driver’s license, before being allowed to vote.”
Since the occurrence of voter fraud is negligible, it’s quite likely that the GOP is leading the voter ID effort in Texas to motivate its base, while Democrats are opposing the law to rile up Latino and African-American voters in advance of the 2012 election. Indeed, The Texas voter ID law is good business for Democrats and Republicans as the 2012 election approaches.
[Image: Kyndell Harkness/Star Tribune/AP]