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TX Voter ID law

In March 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice rejected Texas’s new voter ID law, which would require voters to show photo identification in order to decrease voter fraud. According to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Texas is one of sixteen states required to receive federal approval before changing voter laws because of the state’s history of discriminating against minorities at the polls. The Justice Department rejected the law on the grounds that the law disproportionately harmed Latino voters. In response, Texas sued the United States government, declaring that the measures of the law were fair and that the Justice Department had political motives.

On March 26, 2012, MALDEF intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of community partners to represent two Latino voters and two organizations that conduct voter registration and turnout campaigns in the Latino community: Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. On July 11, 2012, MALDEF attorneys argued the case before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and on August 30, 2012, in victory for MALDEF, the court concluded that Texas was unable to show that its voter identification law was non-discriminatory. Moreover, the court found that the law would weigh more heavily on the poor and racial minorities in the state, increasing the likelihood overall minority voter strength would be reduced.