Justice Dept opposes Texas voter ID law

Updated

The Justice Department’s civil rights division today blocked a new Texas law requiring voters to show photo identification before they can cast a ballot, saying it could suppress Hispanic votes.

In a letter to Texas officials, the Justice Department said Hispanic voters in Texas are as much as 120 percent more likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack a driver’s license or personal state-issued photo ID. 

In December, the Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s voter ID law on grounds it makes it harder for minorities to cast ballots.  South Carolina and Texas are two of nine states with a history of discrimination that must clear any changes to their election law with the Department of Justice before they can take effect.  

Critics say the Voter I.D. requirements are aimed at disenfranchising people who tend to vote Democratic, including African-Americans, Hispanics, people of low-income and college students.

UPDATE: A Wisconsin judge today struck down that state’s voter identification law less than a week after another judge temporarily stopped it, complicating plans for state officials who want the law in place for the upcoming presidential primary.

Justice Dept opposes Texas voter ID law

Updated