After six years of fierce partisan battling, the legislative war over voter ID in Texas is officially over.
Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID bill into law this morning. The legislation requires voters to present one of five acceptable forms of photo ID—a drivers license, military ID, passport, concealed handgun license or a special voter ID card provided free of charge by the state. Gov. Perry designated voter ID as an “emergency item” early in the session, giving it particular priority as lawmakers rushed it through the legislative process.
… The bill signed today enacts a voter ID law more stringent than its counterparts in other states. Unlike Indiana’s law—which the bill was largely based on—Texas’ voter ID law doesn’t recognize student IDs as acceptable forms of voter identification and it gives people with a missing an ID only six days to produce one in order for their vote to count.
Critics suspect that provisions in the bill may be challenged in federal courts. Due to its history of discriminatory voting practices like poll taxes and literacy tests, Texas is one of nine states that, according to the Voting Rights Act, must first clear any significant election law changes with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I would not be surprised, given Texas’ history, if it is not pre-cleared.” Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project said. “And there is no doubt that this will result in litigation if it becomes law. It’s just a question of whose going to file it and when.”
Full Article: After Six-Year Fight, Perry Signs Voter ID into Law.