Justice Dept. Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

Obama administration says it discriminates against Hispanics
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012 11:44 AM CDT
Attorney General Eric Holder surveys the room before speaking at the Northwestern University law school, Monday, March 5, 2012 in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

(Newser) – The Obama administration has stepped in to block a controversial Texas law requiring voters to have a special ID card, on the grounds that it discriminates against minorities, particularly Hispanics. The Justice Department concluded that there was little evidence of voter fraud that would justify the law, and that it would place an undue strain on the poor, because voters must bear the costs of acquiring needed documentation, and may live far from Department of Public Safety offices, Politico reports.

"Even after submitting data that show over 600,000 registered voters do not have either a license or personal identification card—and that a disproportionate share of those registered voters are Hispanic—the state has failed to propose, much less adopt, any program" to help voters who live far from the DPS acquire one, the Justice report fumed. The Voting Rights Act requires that any change in Texas voting procedures receive federal approval. The administration struck down a similar South Carolina law in December.

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