Texas voter ID bill still in DOJ review

Texas new election legislation got more attention recently after US Department of Justice blocked South Carolina voter ID bill just before Christmas. South Carolina and Texas are required to get DOJ pre clearance on election law amendments due to previous incidents of discrimination against minority voter groups. In South Carolina case DOJ argued that according to the state own data about residents without proper identification new bill may discriminate minorities. This verdict proves that DOJ is very sensitive about any law changes that may in any way disadvantage minorities. Texas state data shows 600,000 registered voters who don’t have photo id card cutting for the new law. That is for sure a reason to worry for state law makers as likelihood of DOJ veto rose after South Carolina verdict was announced.
In September DOJ requested additional information on voting data which the state promptly fulfilled. In October however DOJ stated the information provided was incomplete as no racial breakdown in numbers for registered voters without newly required ID cards was provided, The problem is that Texas doesn’t collect racial data during the elections. Data requested by DOJ can be produced with research but this takes time which is already ticking before March primaries. If collected data leaves doubts DOJ is likely to refuse pre clearance.

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