Voter ID

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas struck a deal Wednesday that will soften its voter ID law for the November general election — a development that lawyers suing the state say will make it easier for minorities to cast their ballots. 

The state reached the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups just a few weeks after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ 2011 voter identification law was discriminatory.


Cheryl Gerber / Texas Tribune

Last week, a federal appeals court ruled Texas’ voter ID law makes it harder for minorities to vote. The state was told it could no longer enforce the law as is.

Early voting in the first election since that ruling is now underway, so that special election in Bexar County is following a new set of rules.


Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

After undergoing mediation, the state of Texas has reached an agreement with undocumented families in a lawsuit over its denial to issue birth certificates to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

There was a little-noticed lawsuit filed in federal court this week.

Lawyers representing six Latino voters in Texas argue the way we elect judges for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court violates the Voting Rights Act because it denies Latino voters an equal opportunity to elect judges of their choice.

Erik Hersman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Federal courts aren't showing much love this summer for Texas laws. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the state's 2013 abortion laws impose an undue burden on women, and Wednesday, the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals says the photo ID requirement for Texas voters is asking too much.

Cheryl Gerber and Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas’ voter identification law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. 

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

The deadline for a federal appeals court to rule on the state’s controversial voter ID law is fast approaching. The U.S. Supreme Court gave the court until July 20 to make a decision about whether the law violates federal civil rights law. But, no matter what happens, this likely isn’t the end of this legal battle.

First of all, the fact that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals even has a deadline on this is the first indicator that this case is pretty unique.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

On Tuesday a federal appeals court will take a second look at Texas’ controversial voter ID law. It’s one of the biggest voting rights battles ahead of this year’s presidential election, and a ruling from this court could be a final say on whether the state's law is in violation of the Voting Rights Act.


Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Even as a federal appeals court prepares to review the constitutionality of Texas’ controversial voter ID law, the law will remain in effect, the U.S. Supreme Court said in an order Friday.

However, noting the time-sensitive nature of the case as the November elections approach, the Supreme Court also hinted that if the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals hasn’t issued a definitive ruling by July 20, the justices may revisit the issue.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Am I registered? The Texas Secretary of State’s office has a site to help you figure out if you’re registered, and in which county. You can plug in your driver’s license number or your VUID number (the 10-digit number on your voter registration certificate) with your date of birth; or enter your first and last name, county and date of birth to check the status of your registration. Check your status on the Secretary of State’s website here

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

More than 17 million Texans are eligible to head to the polls and vote in Republican and Democratic primaries, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all turn out tomorrow.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

This year’s presidential election is in full swing, and the state's voter ID law in full effect. But, believe it or not, there are no stats on how many legal voters are being kept from the polls because they don't have a photo ID. Nearly five years after the state’s law was passed, nobody seems to know how to come up with a number.


KUT News

Warnings that strict voter ID laws could hinder turnout among minority voters were right, according to a new study from the University of California-San Diego. It is the first research looking at a slew of voter ID laws across the country, including Texas'.


whiteafrican via flickr

The State of Texas has yet to file an appeal over a ruling against the state's voter identification law. Last week the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law violated the Voting Rights Act.

But where do things stand now, and does the ruling mean Texans don't have to bring a photo ID when they vote this fall?

Once again the U.S. Supreme Court is correcting its own record, but Wednesday marks the first time that the court has called attention to its own mistake with a public announcement. And it was the erring justice herself, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked the court's public information office to announce the error.

Credit: KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Texas' voter ID law to be enforced for the Nov. 4 election. The law requires voters to show one of seven forms of approved identification when voting.

KUT News

A federal appeals is allowing a Texas' voter ID to go ahead for the November election. The law requires voters to show an approved photo ID before casting a ballot.

The ruling comes after a federal judge in Corpus Christi struck down the law last Thursday, calling it an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, and adding that it intentionally discriminated against Hispanics and African-Americans.

KUT

UPDATE (Saturday 2:30pm): The judge in the Texas Voter ID case has formally issued an injunction barring the state from enforcing the new photo identification requirements under Senate Bill 14. 

 

Unless an appeals court intervenes, the ID requirement will not be in effect for the November election.

 

UPDATE (Friday, 2pm): Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wants a federal judge who struck down the state's voter ID law to clarify her ruling by the end of today.

In a filing Friday, Abbott writes:

The scope of the planned injunction appears to be quite broad (much broader than it should be, even assuming the Court is correct regarding the merits of this case), but it is not described in any detail. Nor does the Court’s opinion announce the anticipated timing of its injunction. It is not clear if the Court’s injunction will apply to this election. 

Abbott also says the judge should allow the ID requirement to stay in effect for the upcoming November election, as the case is appealed.

 

EARLIER: A federal judge in Corpus Christi has struck down a Texas law requiring voters to show ID before casting a ballot, calling it an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote.

The law was passed by the 2011 Texas Legislature, and has been the subject of plenty of legal wrangling ever since. Republican leaders call it a protection against voter fraud. Democrats say it's aimed at discouraging minorities from voting.

Several groups representing Hispanic voters -- along with the Justice Department -- sued the state.

In her ruling today, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos largely agrees with the plaintiffs. She cites the limited number of accepted forms of ID as an unconstitutional barrier to the right to vote, and saying it intentionally discriminates against blacks and Hispanics.

Flickr user: Covernor Rick Perry, https://flic.kr/p/9Mx7Xy

With the November elections just over two months away, Texans around the state are registering or renewing their voter status. That is, if they first have a government-issued identification card.

Texas' voter ID law is currently being challenged in court by the U.S. Department of Justice, but until a decision is reached, Texans will be required to show an ID to register as voters. But what does this mean for voters in rural areas? Or for Texans who mail in their ballots? 

Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry is in charge of informing Texans of the voter ID law and how to register. Berry sits down with Texas Standard host David Brown to discuss the requirements for voter registration, and how to attain a government-issued ID before the November elections. 

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Even after a weekend full of panels and discussion of Texas politics and policy at The Texas Tribune Festival, many political wonks are looking to the main event: January's new legilative session. 

State Senator José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, sat down with Texas Standard host David Brown during the festival to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda, the state's budget surplus, the upcoming election for governor and more.

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