Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund issued the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s ruling on the state of Texas’ application for preclearance of its voter identification law:
“We applaud the U.S. District Court for not pre-clearing the implementation of a discriminatory voter identification law that would institute burdensome requirements on Latino voters in the State of Texas.
“The federal court’s ruling found that the proposed voter identification law would disproportionately impair the ability of Latino voters to cast ballots. Latinos account for approximately one third of the U.S. citizen voting-age population (CVAP) in Texas, but more than 60% of all voting age citizens who live more than 20 miles from an ID-issuing state office. If implemented, the restrictive voter identification law would also discriminate against other under-represented voting groups, including low-income, elderly, and persons with disabilities.
“Our democracy thrives when all of its citizens are able to fully and fairly participate in the American political process. With the election less than three months away, now is not the time to threaten the health of our nation’s democracy by instituting restrictive requirements that would limit the ability of Latinos and other underrepresented voters to have their voices heard at the ballot box.
“The federal court’s ruling halts implementation of an unfair voter identification restriction, ensuring that the rights of thousands of Latino voters and others in the state are not violated. As we approach November, we will continue to work towards the full participation of Latinos in the political process.”
* * *
The court rulings prove the “hypocrisy” being displayed by conservatives who say they want Latino support, and yet, do everything possible to block them from voting, SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina said in a statement.
“The courts are reaffirming the sad truth that Latinos and Latino voter advocates have known for years: We hear conservatives say they want votes from Latinos. Yet, their party does not want Latinos to vote.
“In Texas, the conservative state Legislature passed a congressional redistricting plan that was purposely designed to discriminate against Hispanic voters.
“In Florida, another federal court called that state’s voter ID law “harsh and impractical” because of the severe restrictions it put on nonpartisan groups that are registering new voters.
“We have seen conservatives target people based on the color of their skin through immigration laws like AZ SB 1070 and AL HB 56. Their party’s presidential candidate agrees with those laws — the so-called “self deportation” policy that makes life for immigrants so miserable they are forced to leave. They want to erase Latinos from the landscape that is our great nation.
“That is why we are traveling across the country with the “¡Todos A Votar! (Let’s Vote!) tour to help register Latino voters and remind them that they do have a right to vote. And we will vote with pride and without fear of intimidation or harassment on Nov. 6.”