Voter ID

Politics
2:01 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Attorney General Holder Calls Voter ID Laws 'Poll Taxes'

Holder believes the state's Voter ID bill would disenfranchise minority voters.
KUT News, U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke today to members of the NAACP at a conference in Houston.

He talked about his appreciation of the organization and his concerns about the opportunities for young people in some urban areas.

Holder also talked about the Texas Voter ID bill and why he believes it would be harmful to minority voters.

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Texas
9:50 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Controversial Texas Voter ID Law Begins Federal Trial

The trial for the new Texas Voter ID law begins today.

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.

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AM Update
8:24 am
Wed June 13, 2012

AM Update: Austin Ties in Zetas Arrests, Millions of Latinos Not Registered to Vote, OKC Wins Game 1

Officials have tied drugs seized in Austin to Mexican cartels; untapped Latino voters could swing Texas' next election; and the OKC Thunder beat Miami in the NBA Finals' Game 1.
Mose Buchele, KUT News; Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News; Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Fourteen Indicted for Alleged Ties to Drug Cartel

A Central Texas grand jury indicted 14 people with alleged ties to the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas.  The cartel’s leader, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, and two of his brothers were among those indicted.

Federal investigators say the defendants were involved in a money laundering scheme for the cartel involving the horse racing business.

Authorities arrested seven of the indicted individuals on Tuesday. One person was arrested in Austin.

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AM Update
9:01 am
Wed May 23, 2012

AM Update: APD Officer No-Billed, Abbott Backs Off Some Voter ID Trial Demands, Free Slurpees

Texas AG Greg Abbott drops opposition to Voter ID depositions; get your free Slurpee while supplies last; and an APD officer was not charged in a fatal 2011 shooting.
Abbott and police photos by KUT News; Slupree image courtesy 7-eleven.com

Austin Police Officer No-Billed in Fatal Shooting

An Austin Police officer will not face charges after fatally shooting a man last year.

A Travis County Grand Jury decided not to indict Officer Steven Peña.

Police say Peña shot Gilberto Vallejo last May after Vallejo fired a weapon at police. Police were responding to a call in Southeast Austin on a report that Vallejo was trying to shoot his way into an apartment to get to an ex-girlfriend.

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AM Update
8:20 am
Tue May 8, 2012

AM Update: Voter ID Trial Delayed, Longhorns Arrested Downtown, Paul Qui Wins James Beard Award

In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry signed SB14, Texas' Voter ID law.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/texasgovernor

Texas’ Voter ID Law in Legal Limbo

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that if Texas does not hand over requested documentation by Wednesday, the trial on Texas’ Voter ID Law will most likely be delayed. A delay in the trial means that Texas will not see the law implemented in time for the November election, according to the Texas Tribune.

The trial was scheduled to start July 9, until yesterday’s decision. The DOJ is specifically requesting information on voters and state databases; the state has until Wednesday to comply, says the Tribune.

KUT News previously reported that the DOJ had previously used demographic and census data to argue the  law would have a disproportionate impact on minority citizens.

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Voter ID
4:18 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Justice Department Blasts Texas Voter ID Law

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (l) and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott have clashed over Voter ID requirements.
Holder photo courtesy Justice Department; Abbott photo courtesy Texas Attorney General

The U.S. Department of Justice says a Texas law requiring most people to show ID before they can vote will discriminate against minorities.

In court documents filed today, the department says there is substantial evidence that minorities will be affected the most:

Among other evidence, records produced by the State of Texas indicate that S.B. 14 will disenfranchise at least 600,000 voters who currently lack necessary photo identification and that minority registered voters will be disproportionately affected by the law, based on both a greater likelihood of lacking a required form of photo identification and a lesser ability to obtain a necessary identification.

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Politics
1:57 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

NAACP Takes Voter ID Laws To U.N. Rights Council

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:40 pm

Like they've done in the past, the NAACP has argued before a United Nations panel that laws passed in some states that require voters to show identification suppress the votes of minorities.

Fox News reports the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made its case in Geneva yesterday:

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Texas
2:37 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Reactions to Justice Department Photo Voter ID Decision

The Department of Justice building in Washington DC.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/mvjantzen

Earlier today, KUT News reported the Department of Justice has refused to preclear Texas' voter ID law, arguing it would disproportionately impact Latino and Hispanic voters. Here's a roundup of lawmakers' reaction to the decision. 

Gov. Rick Perry

 "Texas has a responsibility to ensure elections are fair, beyond reproach and accurately reflect the will of voters. The DOJ has no valid reason for rejecting this important law, which requires nothing more extensive than the type of photo identification necessary to receive a library card or board an airplane. Their denial is yet another example of the Obama Administration's continuing and pervasive federal overreach."

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Texas
10:53 am
Mon March 12, 2012

DOJ Refuses to Clear Texas Voter ID Law

Gov. Rick Perry's ceremonial signing of SB 14, the state's Voter ID law.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/texasgovernor

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has refused to clear Texas’ voter ID requirements, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011.

The state and the DOJ have been at odds over the issue for months, with the feds requesting additional information to ascertain whether the law would have a disproportionate impact on minority citizens.

Texas is one of the Southern states covered under the Voting Rights Act; Section 5 of the act requires the DOJ to “pre-clear” any electoral changes states make that might impact minority voters.

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SXSW
9:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

AM Update: SXSW Starts Tomorrow, Voter ID Considered in DC, and Roky Erickson: Music Ambassador

SXSW festival attendees at a book signing
Photo courtesy flickr.com/drbeachvacation

SXSW Film and Interactive Start Tomorrow

Austin’s South by Southwest Film and Interactive Festivals kicks off tomorrow and downtown is preparing.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Stymied, Texas Seeks to Implement Voter ID Law

The Texas Attorney General wants to enforce a Voter ID law passed last year; the Department of Justice has yet to "preclear" the measure.
Photo by KUT News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a complaint against the U.S. Department of Justice, seeking to enforce a controversial voter ID requirement passed by the Texas Legislature.

Passed in 2011, the law requires most voters to show a photo ID verifying their identity before they can cast a ballot. Proponents of the measure claim it’s required to clamp down on voter fraud. But critics counter instances of voter fraud are relatively rare, and moreover, the parties most likely affected – minorities, the young, and poorer citizens – often support Democratic candidates over Republican ones.

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Politics
2:59 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Groups Challenge Texas Voter ID Law

Photo by KUT

A law requiring voters in Texas to show photo identification before casting a ballot is being challenged by several civil rights groups. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Advancement Project and others sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department this morning, saying the law will have a discriminatory effect on minorities.

“These proposed changes -- both in the process and in the types of acceptable identification -- are unjustified and are unlawful under the Voting Rights Act,” the letter states.

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News Brief
6:57 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Top Morning Stories September 1, 2011

A new study out of UT Austin ranks the university second in the nation for efficiency.
Photo by KUT News

UT Study Ranks it 2nd in Efficiency

A new study says UT Austin is tied with the University of Illinois for second in the nation when it comes to the most efficient public universities. The study was done by an associate dean in UT's College of Liberal Arts.

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News Brief
6:06 am
Tue May 17, 2011

Top Morning Stories May 17, 2011

Photo by KUT News.

2011 ACL Lineup Released

This year's ACL lineup is out, and it's causing a stir. Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Arcade Fire and Coldplay are headlining the 10th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes, Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Cee Lo will also grace the stages of the three day music fest. 

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Politics
12:12 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

Voter ID Clears the Texas House

A bill that would require voters to show ID at the polls is one step closer to the Governor's desk.
Photo by KUT News

After years of Republican attempts and procedural blocks by Democrats, a voter ID bill has passed the Texas House and Senate.  The bill passed the House on 3rd reading today on a 101-48 vote.  Today's debate and vote took just minutes, compared to the 11 hours the House spent debating amendments Wednesday.  The bill now goes back to the Senate.  That chamber can either agree with the House changes to the bill or ask for a conference committee to work out the differences.

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News Brief
5:24 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Top Morning Stories March 24, 2011

The Texas House gave preliminary approval Wednesday night to a controversial voter ID bill.
Photo by Kut News

The Texas House Passes Voter ID

After more than 11 hours of debate, the Texas House gave initial approval to a voter ID bill last night.  It would require Texans to show a photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls.  Democrats used a variety of parliamentary procedures to delay the bill but didn't have the votes to stop it.  Democratic lawmakers say it would disenfranchise minority and elderly voters.  Republicans say it would protect the integrity of the voting system by preventing voter fraud. 

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Politics
12:48 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Voter ID Debate Begins in the Texas House

The highly partisan bill is expected to pass the Texas House this week
picture by KUT

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.:  A point of order on Voter ID bill has been sustained. The bill is headed back to committee for a clean-up. The language in the bill said "Days"; the bill's analysis said "Business Days," so the bill was sent back to clarify the discrepancy.

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Texas Legislature
5:57 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Texas Senate Approves Voter ID

Voter ID legislation has passed the Texas Senate.
Photo by KUT News.

Senate Approves Voter ID


The Texas Senate passed controversial voter ID legislation last night. The Senate speedily passed the bill that Democrats had blocked in previous sessions.   As expected, the vote came down along party lines. 

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News Brief
8:05 am
Wed January 26, 2011

Top Morning Stories for January 26, 2011

Senate Committee OKs Voter ID

For the third consecutive session, Texas GOP members are trying to get a Voter ID bill through the Senate. A Committee of the Whole Tuesday voted in favor of the bill, which would require voters to show photo ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, personal ID card, or passport, before voting.

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News Brief
6:15 am
Mon January 24, 2011

Top Morning Stories January 24, 2011

The Texas Senate is scheduled to debate voter ID legislation today.
Photo by KUT News.

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