Mon July 9, 2012
Controversial Texas Voter ID Law Begins Federal Trial
The controversial Voter ID Law that passed last year in the Texas State Legislature is going before a federal court. The trial begins today to determine if Texas can implement the law, which requires voters to show government-issued photo identification.
The state says the law will prevent voter fraud. The Justice Department worries it will disenfranchise Hispanic voters and claims it violates the federal Voting Rights Act. A disproportionate number of minorities in Texas lack the necessary identification, which would prevent them from voting. Texas will have to persuade a three-judge panel of the law’s legality.
The Mexican American Legislative Caucus says during the 2008 and 2010 elections there was only one case of voter fraud in over 13 million ballots cast.
The state's new law is similar to those already in place in Georgia and Indiana. The reason the law couldn’t be implemented immediately is because of previous issues with voter discrimination. Texas and other states with similar histories now have to get these laws approved by the federal government.
The trial is expected to last five days. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is hoping that the new law can be in place for the November elections.