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Judge Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

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United States District Judge Nelva Gonzales Romos has ruled that Texas Senate Bill 14 was created and passed specifically to discriminate against certain people in the state. The judge ruled that the bill discriminates against minority voters. The voter ID law ruling comes two years after she referred to the bill as a “poll tax.”

The voter ID law is not the only discriminatory action taken by Texas.

Texas has also had issues several years ago when a different court discovered evidence that the state was drawing its election maps on racial lines. This use of gerrymandering was also found to be discriminatory and the state was forced to throw out election maps that had been drawn up by Republican lawmakers.

While the state was ordered, by another court, to be more flexible for last November’s election, SB 14 required people who want to vote to provide one of the following:

  • Driver’s license;
  • Personal identification card;
  • United States military identification card;
  • United States citizenship certificate that contains a photograph;
  • United States passport; or
  • A license to carry a concealed handgun.

Judge Gonzalos Ramos wrote in her opinion, “Proponents touted SB 14 as a remedy for voter fraud, consistent with efforts of other states. As previously demonstrated, the evidence shows a tenuous relationship between those rationales and the actual terms of the bill,.”

 It is possible that the state will appeal the ruling though no one has responded to the most recent decision. This decision comes on the heals of another ruling last month. In March, a panel of three judges ruled there were problems with the Texas voting rights laws. This panel ruled that Republicans in the state legislature used gerrymandering to craft districts in such a manner than discriminated against minority voters. In 2011, the Texas legislature redid the election maps. Rick Perry was governor at the time and he signed off on the voter ID law and the new maps that were drawn up by the Republicans.

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