Voter ID

KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

The 2011 Texas voter ID law was one of the strictest such laws in the nation. It required Texans to show one of seven approved forms of photo identification to vote.

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again declined to reinstate North Carolina's strict voter ID law, which was struck down last year after a court ruled it was intentionally designed to stop African-Americans from voting.

The nation's highest court refused to consider an appeal by North Carolina Republicans, NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

"Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court's refusal to consider an appeal did not signify an opinion on the merits of the case," Fessler says.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Several weeks ago, a federal court ruled Texas lawmakers intentionally diluted the voting power of minorities when it drew up congressional districts in 2011; last week the same court ruled the Texas House maps also were drawn with the intent to discriminate.

Today, the court begins hearings on how to remedy this situation, which could include requiring the state to get federal preclearance before any new maps or voting rules go into effect.

Spc. Carlynn Knaak/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

There's nothing unusual about a state lawmaker and a mayor being worried about turnout in a local election. But in Dallas, it's not just low turnout that's got two local leaders concerned. It's the cause.

 

Mrs. Gemstone/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A federal judge has ruled for the second time that a Texas law has intentionally discriminated against minority voters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas lawmakers intended to discriminate when they passed a strict voter ID law in 2011, a federal judge has ruled.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate tentatively approved legislation Monday that would revamp the state’s voter identification rules, a response to court rulings that the current law discriminates against minority voters.

Following more than an hour of debate, the chamber voted 21-10 to move the bill to a final vote, likely later this week. 

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

A Texas Senate panel cleared legislation Monday that would overhaul the state's voter identification rules, an effort to comply with court rulings that the current law discriminates against black and Latino voters.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-0 to send the legislation to the full chamber.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Three months before Election Day, a federal judge issued an order forcing Texas to allow people to vote without a photo ID as long as they signed an affidavit claiming a reasonable impediment to obtaining one.

Only a small percentage of voters signed them but officials in Tarrant County are asking their district attorney to investigate 15 affidavits that may have been issued improperly.

Rogi.Official/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed Monday that it no longer intends to argue Texas' voter ID law intentionally discriminates against minorities. The DOJ had opposed the law on those grounds during the Obama administration.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Department of Justice is ditching its longstanding position that Texas lawmakers purposefully discriminated against minority voters by passing the nation’s strictest voter identification law in 2011, according to lawyers who are challenging the state’s law.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Between 16,000 and 17,000 Texans who said they had trouble getting a voter ID were able to sign an affidavit and vote in the last presidential election, thanks to a court order. Now lawmakers want to make it a felony if a voter signing such a form “knowingly makes a false statement or provides false information.”

Jeff Kubina/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The U.S. Supreme Court is denying the State of Texas' appeal in case over the state's voter ID law.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Months after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas lawmakers discriminated against African-American and Latino voters in passing a strict voter identification law, the Obama administration and civil rights groups are asking a judge to go a step further — by finding that the lawmakers did it on purpose.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The voter ID law caused a lot of confusion at the polls during this year’s election. There were even lawsuits filed, but the fight over voter ID was already sure to stay alive in the courts.

In fact, the seemingly endless battle over the Texas voter ID law might get more complicated.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

More than 50 percent of registered voters in both Travis and Williamson counties have already cast ballots during early voting. If you weren't among them, now is your chance to make your voice heard.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

Before you head out, here are a few things you might want to do.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Since early voting started last week, there’s been some confusion about the Texas voter ID law.

This summer, a court ordered the state to change the law and then spend $2.5 million educating voters about those changes. But, voting rights groups say that last part hasn’t gone so well, and some experts say the language used to communicate those changes could be part of the problem.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The state’s top election official says he’s doing all he can to make sure counties are following a court order regarding the state’s voter ID law.

John Harvey/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Texas has a record-breaking 15 million people registered to vote ahead of the November election, the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday.

Texas has 15,015,700 voters registered according to a preliminary estimate — over 777,000 more than were registered in time for the March primaries. The deadline to register to vote was Tuesday.

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

Texans across the state will soon be inundated with TV and radio ads ahead of this year’s presidential election. However, the ads won't be from candidates running for office, but from the state of Texas. The state-funded ads are intended to inform voters of the recent court-ordered changes to Texas' voter ID law.

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