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Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

Posted Aug 30, 2012 4:45 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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A federal court ruled that the state of Texas could not show that a new voter ID law would not harm the voting rights of its minorities and struck down the legislation.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was unswayed by state evidence to support a stricter voter ID measure Thursday and determined that the costs of obtaining a voter ID would fall most heavily on poor African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas, the Washington Post reports. Texas is the largest state covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires federal approval of any voting changes in states that have a history of discrimination.

Texas will appeal the ruling in the closely watched case to the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott said in the Post’s report. The Department of Justice blocked the law on similar grounds in March, according to the Post.

A national legal battle over voter ID laws has heightened this election year, pitting calls for greater safeguards to prevent voting fraud against fears of endangering the rights of minority voters.

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