Surely, street cred in conservative circles is not worth becoming the poster child for voter suppression. Again. What’s the rush? The ink was barely dry on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act, and there was Attorney General Greg Abbott saying Texas’ voter ID law would go into effect immediately. The problem: the ink has been quite dry for a while on another federal court ruling. This one, in August 2012, said discrimination and voter suppression was written all over Texas’ voter ID law. Yet, the state is now gearing up to implement this law, and county election officials around the state are surely scratching their heads. Why would a state, whose voting numbers are nothing to write home about, want to diminish them further? Particularly since this is ostensibly to address voter fraud — a problem that substantially doesn’t exist.
Abbott wants to be governor, by the way. And he likely sees campaign gold in Texans’ anti-federal sentiments. But here’s what happened last year. Circuit Court Judge David Tatel in Washington, D.C., wrote an opinion in which he called out Texas on its requirement of photo ID for voting. “It imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor and racial minorities in Texas, ” he wrote, joined in the opinion by two other judges.
… Things remain highly unsettled — all except Texas’ desire to get as much mileage out of voter ID as soon as possible and to set in concrete redistricting lines that do not yet do justice to minority growth. Unseemly doesn’t describe half of what’s going on here.