DoJ Denies Preclearance On Texas Voter ID Law, Citing Unfair Effects On Hispanics

Ryan J. Reilly of TPM provides a few details:

Hispanic registered voters in Texas were either 46.5 percent or 120 percent more likely than average voter to lack a form of photo ID, according to data the state submitted to DOJ. The first data set was sent in September and the second in January, though Texas has refused to tell federal authorities which they believe is more accurate. The first data set said that 6.3 percent of Hispanic registered voters lacked photo ID compared to 4.3 percent of the general pool of registered voters, while the second data set said 10.8 percent of Hispanic registered voters lacked ID compared to 4.9 percent of registered voters.

“In conclusion, the state has not met its burden of proving that, when compared to the benchmark, the proposed requirement will not have a retrogressive effect, or that any specific features of the proposed law will prevent or mitigate that retrogression,” DOJ Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez wrote in a letter to state authorities. “Additionally, the state has failed to demonstrate why it could not meet its stated goals of ensuring electoral integrity and deterring ineligible voters from voting in a manner that would have avoided this retrogressive effect.”

This should surprise literally no one, not because it’s Texas (other states are in similar positions), but because Voter ID laws have always been a solution in search of a problem, meanwhile providing a means of racial and economic discrimination mostly to Republican-dominated states like Texas.

There’s this little jewel as well, from the same article:

Texas preemptively sued Attorney General Eric Holder back in January for not preclearing the law in a timely manner. The Lone Star state claimed it did not collect racial and ethnic data on its citizens in an attempt to “facilitate a colorblind electoral process.”

Oh, fuck me with a fork, or gag me with a spoon, or whatever that Valley girls expression was. The only indication of colorblindness in Texas during Gov-for-Life Perry’s reign was in some GOP legislator’s ophthalmologist’s office (and I understand they found myopia as well)… there’s certainly no evidence of colorblindness in Republican Texas governance. They will do literally anything they can to decrease the legitimate vote of the Hispanic population, which is steadily growing as a percentage of total state population. Never does it occur to them to do anything as a party to appeal to Hispanics, let alone African Americans (unless they’re wealthy donors)… no, they just want to stop them at the polls. It’s an old American tradition… a tradition of raw bigotry in action.

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