The Justice Department on Monday struck down a controversial Texas law that would have required voters to obtain a special ID card before they could vote in public elections.
According to the Justice Department the law would discriminate against poor people and minorities, specifically Hispanics.
In a letter to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office on Monday Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez said:
“According to the state’s own data, a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5 percent, and potentially 120.0 percent, more likely than a non-Hispanic registered voter to lack” a driver’s license or official non-driver ID card.
The law was proposed because lawmakers in the state believed voter fraud was running rampant in the area however federal officials found little evidence of voter fraud to justify the voter ID card ruling.
The department found that the cost of obtaining identification and traveling to Department of Public Safety offices unfairly targeted poor voters.
In its findings the Justice Department wrote:
“Even after submitting data that show over 600,000 registered voters do not have either a license or personal identification card—and that a disproportionate share of those registered voters are Hispanic—the state has failed to propose, much less adopt, any program.”
In order for Texas to establish a voter ID law they must have all changes approved by federal authorities.
This isn’t the first time that the Justice Department has struck down voter ID laws, a similar law in South Carolina was struck down by the Justice Department in December 2011.
Do you think voter ID laws should be allowed to move forward or do they unfairly target poor and minority US citizens?