Appeals court rules Texas can use new voter ID law

Daily News Article   —   Posted on September 7, 2017

(by Max Greenwood, The Hill) – A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday gave Texas its approval to use a revised version of the state’s voter identification law during its November election, Politico reported.

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans voted 2-1 Tuesday to stay a lower judge’s ruling, which blocked the state from enforcing a…voter ID measure, known as Senate Bill 5 (S.B. 5).

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled last month that the voter identification measure was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters.

S.B. 5 was passed by the Texas legislature earlier this year in response to a court ruling that the state’s original measure, Senate Bill 14, was too restrictive and racially motivated. That law requires registered voters to present one of seven forms of government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot.

S.B. 5, however, created alternatives for voters who said they could not “reasonably” obtain one of the forms of ID outlined in the initial bill.

The judges on Tuesday said that Ramos had failed to consider S.B. 5 in light of whether it fixed the problems with S.B. 14, as the 5th Circuit had ordered in an earlier ruling.

“The State has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits. S.B. 5 allows voters without qualifying photo ID to cast regular ballots by executing a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to obtaining qualifying photo ID,” Judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Elrod wrote on Tuesday in the joint order provided by Politico.

“The State has made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs’ alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs’ injunctive relief.”

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"At least 3.5 million more people are on U.S. election rolls than are eligible to vote.

Under federal law, the 1993 National Voter Registration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act require states to maintain accurate voter lists. Nonetheless, some state politicians ignore this law. Others go further:

The Election Integrity Project of Judicial Watch — a Washington-based legal-watchdog group — analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2015 American Community Survey and July’s statistics from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The latter included figures provided by 38 states.

My tabulation of Judicial Watch’s state-by-state results yielded 462 counties where the registration rate exceeded 100 percent. There were 3,551,760 more people registered to vote than adult U.S. citizens who inhabit these counties."  (Aug. 11, 2017 by Deroy Murdock at NR)

From VoteTexas.Gov - Acceptable forms of photo ID:

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 4 years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

Election Identification Certificates are available from DPS driver license offices during regular business hours. Find mobile station locations here.

Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo ID and cannot obtain one due to a reasonable impediment:

After presenting a supporting form of ID, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.