(August 30, 2012) Today, a U.S. Federal District Court has agreed with the League of Women Voters and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that the Texas voter photo identification law violates Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the law does have a discriminatory effect. The federal three-judge panel rejected the state of Texas’ arguments seeking to overturn a Department of Justice decision to deny pre-clearance of Texas’ photo voter ID law. The League of Women Voters of Texas (LWVTX) joined the lawsuit in support of the DOJ decision.
“The importance of this case cannot be overstated: It is a landmark decision for voting rights in America,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWVUS). The League in Texas and other states around the country will continue to fight against these restrictive voting laws. This decision helps us ensure America’s elections treat all citizens equally, and are free, fair and accessible.”
“We are thrilled with today’s decision. The court has upheld our most basic and fundamental right by siding with common sense and this decision will help ensure that the world’s leading democracy provides for equality at the voting booth,” stated Linda Krefting, President of the League of Women Voters of Texas.
This marks another voting rights victory for the League and its partners in recent months. The groups have been successful in helping to block implementation of voter suppression laws in numerous states nationwide.
“Time and again these laws have been found to be illegal. These new restrictive voting laws should not be enacted in any state. We cannot allow politicians to manipulate election laws for their own personal gain. It is time for us to move beyond the rhetoric and work to pass new laws that will ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote can vote and will have their vote counted without any barriers. Nothing less than protecting America’s great democracy is at stake,” concluded MacNamara.
It is widely anticipated that today’s decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
CONTACT: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331, KCeballos@lwv.org