Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday took aim at a civil rights lawyer who — according to a news story — advised folks in South Texas to ignore the state’s voter ID law when casting ballots in an upcoming local election. In an August 13 Rio Grande Guardian story, Jose Garza, a lawyer for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, is quoted saying he thinks Texas’ voter ID law is unconstitutional, and that he “needs practical examples of registered voters being denied the right to vote. The photo ID legislation may be the law of the land in Texas but I believe it is unconstitutional. The only way you can challenge it is to find people who have been denied the right to vote because they did not comply with this specific term,” Garza said, according to the story. Keep in mind: Abbott declared voter ID will “take effect immediately” after the U.S. Supreme Court in June suspended the section of the Voting Rights Act that forced Texas to get a federal OK before implementing changes to election law (Attorney General Eric Holder said in July he will ask a court to require Texas to receive preclearance from the Justice Department for voting laws because of a history of discrimination).
The Rio Grande Guardian story notes there is a special election on Sept. 14 to fill a vacant Edinburg City Council, one of the first elections in the state since the SCOTUS decision.
Some of Garza’s comments:
“So, I would encourage everybody who wants to test this law to go and attempt to cast their ballot using their voter registration card. Let us test the impact of this law. We need to be able to measure how many people this law kept from voting.”
Abbott, who is running for governor, shot back Monday in a statement by saying “the only person working to suppress votes is Mr. Garza and his unethical advice not to follow the law and not to present IDs that voters already have or can obtain for free.”
Full Article: Abbott goes on voter ID offensive – Texas Politics.