Allegations of voter fraud fueled the successful push for a controversial voter ID law in Texas last year, making a picture ID necessary to vote despite scant evidence of actual cheating at the polls. Fewer than five “illegal voting” complaints involving voter impersonations were filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office from the 2008 and 2010 general elections in which more than 13 million voters participated. The Department of Justice has deemed the law in violation of the Voting Rights Act, finding that it would disproportionately affect minorities, who are less likely to have a photo ID.
Meanwhile, proponents of the embattled legislation contend the actual number of voter impersonations is hard to prove without the photo requirement. Texas has suffered from “multiple cases of voter fraud,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a recent FOX News interview, though the attorney general handled just 20 allegations of election law violations in the 2008 and 2010 elections. Most involved mail-in ballot or campaign finance violations, electioneering too close to a polling place or a voter blocked by an election worker. The Texas attorney general’s office did not give the outcome of the four illegal voting complaints that were filed. Only one remains pending, according to agency records.
… If enforced, the photo ID requirement could adversely affect more than 600,000 otherwise eligible voters and disproportionately challenge Hispanics, according to the Justice Department. As many as 795,955 registered voters in Texas do not have a Texas driver’s license, and insistence that they obtain a DPS ID card to vote could be problematic in some 70 Texas counties and inner cities that lack a DPS driver’s license office. Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanics to live in these areas, according to the Justice Department study issued this week.
Full Article: Cheating rarely seen at polls – San Antonio Express-News.