Texas Voter ID Law Update – Federal Lawsuit

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Texas Voter ID Law Update – Federal Lawsuit

Back in June, I wrote about the Texas Voter ID law that would require all voters in Texas to have a valid ID, such as a driver license or the new Texas Voter ID. This law was passed in 2011 but that had been on hold because a federal court had blocked the law in August of last year. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that struck down key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act had apparently cleared the way for Texas to move forward with implementation of the law. On Thursday, the Justice Department filed suit to keep Texas from doing just that.

The Justice Department said in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi that Texas state lawmakers passed the requirement to deny racial minorities the right to vote and, unlike other states with similar laws, failed to take steps to prevent the law from being discriminatory.

This is the latest step in this battle, but it certainly won’t be the last. What do you think of the Texas Voter ID law? Do you think Texas should be allowed to implement this new law? Is it a desire to eliminate voter fraud, or an effort to keep minorities from voting?

Having read the state’s press releases on this subject, one thing remains unclear to me. Will there be any costs associated with getting the Voter ID? I have seen some writers say they think that there will be a cost to get a verified copy of a birth certificate. If so, then I see this as a flawed plan.

In my opinion, there should never be a cost to vote. Even one dollar would be too much of a cost. It is a “slippery slope” when you start talking about there being any cost associated with being able to vote. Poll taxes are an ugly part of our history, and I would hope that we collectively would never want to take a step in that direction.

There is nothing wrong with asking for individuals to show an ID to vote. Most of us have a driver license, so that is not a burden. But for those that don’t, getting an ID for voting is not an unreasonable burden, IF there is no cost involved, and the process is not unreasonably difficult. While getting anything from the state government is a hassle, it should be one of the easier tasks. Potentially interfering with the right to vote should motivate us all to make sure it’s one of the smoothest processes to complete.

Keith is the owner and founder of Owens Investigations.