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Tipsheet

Texas Voter ID Law Upheld

The Associated Press reports that a Texas voter ID law has been upheld by a US Court of Appeals. 

From the AP:

“Texas' voter ID law that was twice blocked over findings of discrimination can stay in effect for the 2018 elections, a U.S. appeals court ruled Friday.

It was the second major ruling over voting rights in the U.S. this week after an Arkansas judge on Thursday blocked that state's voter ID measure as unconstitutional.

But in a 2-1 decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the Texas law that critics have slammed as one of the toughest voter ID measures in the nation was seen as a suitable replacement for the original 2011 law that a federal judge had likened to a "poll tax" on minority voters.

The biggest change to the Texas law — which accepts handgun licenses as sufficient identification to vote, but not college student IDs — is that voters without any acceptable photo ID can still cast a ballot so long as they sign an affidavit. Opponents and a federal judge in Texas balked at the revisions, saying criminal penalties tied to lying on the affidavit could have a chilling effect on voters.”

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Democrats have long argued that state voter ID laws are racist because in their view minorities are less likely to be able to obtain identification. Republicans argue that since identification is required for nearly everything these days, it would make sense that arguably one of the most important civic duties would also require ID. 

According to CNN, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision. 

From CNN

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision, saying the revised law "removes any burden on voters who cannot obtain a photo ID."

"The court rightly recognized that when the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5 last session, it complied with every change the 5th Circuit ordered to the original voter ID law," Paxton said in a statement. "Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to preserving our democracy."

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