Early voting for the March Primary Election began today with Texas’ voter ID law enjoying full enforcement, despite U.S. Department of Justice objections in federal court. Just as Texans experienced in the 2013 Constitutional Election, voters must present an approved photo ID to cast a regular ballot at their polling place.
The Holder Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit against Texas in summer 2013 on the claim that voter ID was a violation of the Voting Right Act, as part of a wider national campaign to block election integrity reforms.
On February 11, the DOJ requested the court consider postponing the September 2014 trial date – arguing they did not have ample time to analyze data among ethnic groups and, therefore, their effort would be “irreparably prejudiced” as a result. The DOJ was rejected on Friday.
Based on Heritage Foundation analysis of Texas’ initial voter ID election in 2013, the DOJ does not have the best minority voter turnout data to build a case upon. Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky argues the “requirement has done nothing to suppress voter turnout throughout the state. In fact, turnout in last year’s constitutional elections in Texas yielded some of the highest turnout numbers in the past decade for similar type elections.” Spakovsky adds that compared to the last Constitutional Election in 2011, registered voter turnout had nearly doubled overall, across ethnic and economic segments as well.
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