Texas provided “incomplete” information on the state’s voter ID law that does not enable federal officials to determine whether the new law would illegally discriminate against minorities, officials said this afternoon. That means that it will likely delay the scheduled Jan. 1 start of enforcement of the new law, which will require Lone Star voters to show an approved photo identification before they can cast ballots. However, the next statewide election is the March primary, and it was unclear if the delay would affect that election.
Justice Department officials have 60 days to decide whether the new law violates the Voting Rights Act, once they receives the information from Texas officials.The law was a hot-button issue for conservative Republicans that Gov. Rick Perry had elevated to an emergency issue to get it quickly passed into law last spring. Democrats, voting-rights advocates and minority groups had harshly criticized the law, but were unable to block its passage in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
In a letter Wednesday to state Elections Director Ann McGeehan, U.S. Department of Justice Department official T. Christian Herren Jr. said Texas officials did not supply required data on race that is necessary for the agency to make a decision on the controversial new law. In its earlier filings with the Justice Department, Texas officials said that because the voter-registration process does not require applicants to list their race, Texas officials instead were trying to compile that information from state police records.
Full Article: Voter ID law approval hits new snag | Postcards.