The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing Texas’ recently passed Voter ID bill after a ruling Dec. 23 stated that a similar bill in South Carolina did not meet requirements of the 1965 Voter Rights Act and made it more difficult for minorities to vote. “I’m disappointed the Department of Justice is playing politics in this,” State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, said. “I’m intrigued to see the outcome of the litigation, but at the end of the day, the Supreme Court is going to uphold it.”
Creighton said the bill would require voters to provide a Texas Driver’s License or Department of Public Safety public identification card, citizenship papers or a U.S. passport, or similar documents. For those who do not have the required document, Creighton said a DPS identification card can be obtained free of charge.
The Supreme Court previously ruled 6-3 in favor of Indiana’s voter identification bill, Creighton said, and the language of Texas’ bill was based on previous bills passed by Indiana and Georgia. Texas is one of five states that passed voter ID bills in 2011, and Creighton said 31 states have voter ID requirements.
The bill was passed during the state’s 82nd legislative session after failing to pass in 2007 and 2009, Creighton said. He believes the bill will help prevent voter fraud and said identification already is required for simple tasks, such as renting a movie or getting on an airplane.