The Justice Department is objecting to a new photo ID law in Texas for voters, saying the state has failed to demonstrate that the the law is not discriminatory by design against Hispanic voters.
The department’s head of the civil rights division, Tom Perez, wrote a a six-page letter to Texas’ director of elections saying that Texas has not “sustained its burden” under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to show that the new law will not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters. About 11 percent of Hispanic voters reportedly lack state-issued identification.
Perez wrote that while the state says the new photo ID requirement is to “ensure electoral integrity and deter ineligible voters from voting” the state “did not include evidence of significant in-person voter impersonation not already addressed by the state’s existing laws.”
Perez added that the number of people lacking any personal ID or driver’s license issued by the state ranges from from 603,892 to 795,955, but of that span, 29-38 percent of them are Hispanic.
“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 this identification,” Perez wrote.
“Even using the data most favorable to the state … that disparity is statistically significant,” he said...
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