The ongoing Texas redistricting fight took a backseat to the voter identification law debate Monday, thanks to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott filed a lawsuit seeking swift enforcement of the controversial legislation requiring Texas voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter identification laws are constitutional,” Abbott said regarding the voter identification bill the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature approved in last year’s session.
“Texas should be allowed the same authority other states have to protect the integrity of elections,” Abbott said in reference to the U.S. Department of Justice’s reservations about the law on hold. “To fast-track that authority, Texas is taking legal action in a (Washington) D.C. court seeking approval of its voter identification law.”
Some West Texans criticized the law and said they hope Abbott’s suit fails. “This is the Republicans’ way of suppressing our vote,” said Lubbock County Commissioner Gilbert Flores. “They see that we (Hispanics) are slowly becoming the majority and they want to suppress that.” Like the Democratic minority in the Legislature and civil rights groups, Flores has long argued the voter ID bill, which finally passed last year after failing in three previous sessions, would make it difficult for racial minorities, the poor and the elderly to vote.