Monday, March 12, 2012

Throw that ID away, unless you are legal that is

The Obama administration blocked Texas (BEESTX)’s new law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls, escalating a partisan dispute over voting restrictions.
The U.S. Justice Department is using its power under the Voting Rights Act to halt the Texas law, saying in a letter to the state today that the measure may disproportionately harm Hispanics. The department in December blocked a similar law in South Carolina (NFSESC).
Voter identification laws were passed last year in eight states. Whether the requirements are inconveniences or barriers to voting is at the core of a debate between Republican supporters who say the laws will protect election integrity, and Democrats who oppose the statutes as attempts to disenfranchise minorities and the poor.
“Even using the data most favorable to the state, Hispanics disproportionately lack either a driver’s license or a personal identification card,” Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, wrote in the letter to Keith Ingram, the director of elections for the Texas Secretary of State.

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