A challenge of the Texas voter ID kicked off in federal court Tuesday in Corpus Christi with opening statements and a first round of evidentiary testimony. The trial comes about two months before the November midterm elections, and opponents of the voter photo ID law are hoping for a quick resolution so the higher standard of voter identification is thrown out before election day. “We’ve made it no secret that this case is important and needs to be ruled on before the next election,” Chad Dunn, an attorney for the plaintiffs opposing the bill, told the Caller-Times after the first day of hearings. “Evidence out there shows that hundreds of thousands in this state don’t have the photo ID they need.”
Dunn and the other plaintiffs cite a Harvard professor’s analysis that estimates about 787,000 registered voters in Texas are ineligible to vote because they lack necessary identification. “There’s not enough time between now and the election for the state to fix the negative effects of this photo ID law,” Dunn said.
The law in question is SB14, which was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2011. The law requires voters to provide a state or federal form of photo identification prior to casting a ballot.