Thursday, August 04, 2016
Texas Voter ID Law Invalid - Settlement Is Reached
A few years ago, the Republican legislature in Texas decided to attack a non-existent problem -- voter fraud. What they were actually doing is trying to suppress Democratic votes (particularly Black and Hispanic voters). This was obvious to any reasonable person, since anyone has a better chance of being hit by lightening than discovering any voter fraud. The legislature passed a law requiring a picture ID before a person could vote.
The law was overturned by San Antonio District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos. Texas appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and a panel of that court's judges agreed with Judge Ramos. Texas then appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court sent the case back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to be heard by that entire court. That full appeals court ruled a couple of weeks ago to uphold Judge Ramos' decision. They said the Texas law violated the Voting Rights Act (and the Constitution) by discriminating against minorities.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to Judge Ramos to issue guidelines for voting in Texas. Those who originally brought suit against the odious law and the state of Texas have now reached an agreement, and submitted to to Judge Ramos. It is expected that she will sign the agreement, effectively ending the Voter ID law's discriminatory effects.
The agreement basically states that a person will be able to vote if they are listed on the voter registration rolls. They will have to show something to show they are the person listed on the rolls, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a photo ID. It could be:
* a voter registration card
* a driver's license or state ID card
* a passport
* a concealed-carry license
* a student ID card
* a water bill, electric bill, gas bill, etc.
* a military ID card
* a birth certificate
* a bank statement
* a paycheck or paycheck stub
* or just sign an affidavit stating he/she is the person on the voter rolls
If any of the above things are done, that person will be able to vote (a real ballot, not a provisional ballot) and that vote will be counted. His/her vote cannot be challenged unless there is conclusive proof that he/she is not the person on the voter registration roll.
This is a good agreement, and I trust it will be fully implemented in time for the November 8th election.