The Supreme Court rejected an appeal to restore Texas’ strict voter identification law on Monday. The law doesn’t comply with the Voting Rights Act and violates U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination.
Texas is among nine states that have strict photo ID requirements and has the shortest list of acceptable forms. In an effort to prevent voter fraud, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wanted to restore the original law, which would stipulate the types of photo IDs election officials can accept at the polls.
Challengers argue that the law intended to undercut electoral strength of Texas’ growing minority population – those who are less likely to have photo IDs or the means of obtaining acceptable forms. The state has what election experts say are among the toughest ID measures in the nation. About 600,000 registered voters in Texas lack the required forms of identification, affecting minority voters a significant amount.
‘Texas, which ranks poorly in voter participation, should work to ensure that every eligible voter in the state is able to cast a ballot going forward,’ J. Gerald Herbert, Director of Voting Rights and Redistricting Program at the Campaign Legal Center said in a statement.
Texas officials believe that the law presents no evidence of decreasing minority political participation or preventing people from voting. Multiple attempts have been made to pass this law, and after every rejection, Texas has appealed.