Gov. Rick Perry defended the state’s controversial Voter ID law Friday during on a Fox news interview when he complained about interference from the federal government. The Justice Department on Monday rejected the state’s Voter ID law because state officials failed to demonstrate the election changes would not make it harder for minorities to vote. Because of historic discrimination against minority voters, federal law requires Texas to prove its case before making any election changes. Texas is suing to overturn the 1965 law. “Here we are in 2012 and the idea that somehow or another a southern state, Texas in particular, a state that is a majority minority in our public schools now, is somehow or another being discriminatory toward minorities, I think, is a vestige of fear tactics that have been used through the years, and frankly, don’t hold water anymore,” Perry said in the interview. “This is not a Democratic or Republican issue,” the governor added. … The vote to pass the bill into law, however, reflected a strong partisan perspective.
All 19 Texas Senate Republicans voted for it last year while all 12 Democrats opposed the bill. In the House, the key vote saw 100 Republicans and 1 Democrat supporting the bill. All 48 dissenting votes came from Democrats.
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, acknowledges that voter fraud exists. “No one disputes that. However, what every investigation has proven is that the kind of fraud voter ID laws would address — voter impersonation — doesn’t really exist. In fact, there are more UFO and Bigfoot sightings than documented cases of voter impersonation.” Ellis said.
… Perry told his Fox news audience Texas has “multiple cases of voter fraud in various places across the state,” according to legislative testimony. But the evidence of voter impersonation, which the Voter ID law addresses, is sketchy.