From CBS News:
“A federal court has ruled against a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.
A three-judge panel in Washington ruled Thursday that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen reports the law required new forms of voter identification even for Texas residents who have long voted accurately.
The court ruled that the new voter identification law in Texas would have an unconstitutional impact on the right to vote for poor people and especially Hispanics and African-Americans – the same minorities who were protected earlier in the week from Republican redistricting by another federal court panel.”
Although a Florida ruling on Wednesday blocked a similar measure from going into effect, it’s perhaps more meaningful that a voter ID requirement has been rejected in such a conservative Southern state as Texas. And after all, the state is home base for True the Vote, the organization behind the nationwide Republican campaign to institute voter ID laws ahead of a contentious election season.
Again, I understand the principle behind voter ID requirements. Every American wants to see the country’s electoral system strengthened.
But to impose such requirements in an election year, and to do so without parallel campaigns to ensure that registered voters have proper ID, seems to most people as a political ploy to disenfranchise the voters of one party and, thus, increase the chances of success for the other — especially since instances of voter fraud are so rare and voter ID laws could potentially keep millions of Americans from the polls this fall.
Voter ID laws are a solution without a problem that would do more harm than good. I’m glad the Texas judges saw it that way, too.