BREAKING: Texas voter ID law struck down
August 30th, 2012
12:18 PM ET
11 years ago

BREAKING: Texas voter ID law struck down

(CNN) - A federal appeals court in Washington has struck down the Texas voter ID law which required photos for voters at the polls, saying the law amounts to racial discrimination.

The decision is considered a major victory for the Obama administration and its Democratic allies who had challenged the law.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Mike Texoma

    My Republican friends don't get it. There is no constitutional right to board an airplane, or to buy beer, or to obtain a driver's license. Neither is there any demonstrated threat at present to the exercise of the right to vote which would warrant the invocation of any restrictive measure.

    August 30, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Woman for Obama

    If you want people to have certain ID, give them time. Not in an election year. We all know what this is about. They don't want a black/white man running the country. That is why they keep say we are going to take the country back. Were are you taking it back from? We all know that answer.

    August 30, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Mikey

    @Joepub, @da – What you don't get is that there are millions of American citizens who are legal voters who do not have government issued picture ID. For a lot of middle class Americans, this seems odd, but it's true. Now, to get such ID, when you don't have it, you have to find your birth certificate or send away for it and pay a fee, go to the DMV or other agency and pay another fee. For many poor or older people who don't have their birth certificate or transportation, this is not as easy as you might want to make it seem and there are costs involved.

    These laws are being pushed to combat fraud that doesn't exist at any level large enough to justify disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters (perhaps millions). If you want to pay for all the fees for people to get the ID and provide support in filing forms and transportation for those who need it, then I am all for it, assuming there is enough lead time to get ID for all the legitimate voters. Otherwise it is unconstitutional voter suppression.

    August 30, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC


    I don't get it. Why is showing an ID such a big issue?

    Here's the problem for supporters of Voter ID laws, taken from the VRA of 1965. BTW, the language in the VRA is such that the stated intent of voting laws is irrelevant. It is only the *results* of enacting such laws that are relevant.

    "SEC. 2. No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."

    "SEC. 4. (a) To assure that the right of citizens of the United States to vote is not denied or abridged on account of race or color, no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect to which the determinations have been made..."

    "(c) The phrase "test or device" shall mean any requirement that a person as a prerequisite for voting or registration for voting (1) demonstrate the ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter, (2) demonstrate any educational achievement or his knowledge of any particular subject, (3) possess good moral character, or (4) prove his qualifications by the voucher of registered voters or members of any other class. "

    See the problem? Notice how the intent of a voting law is irrelevant. It is only the end result that matters. Voter ID laws require a "device" to "prove his qualifications by the voucher of registered voters." I rest my case.

    August 30, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Susan

    If I have to show a photo ID to get my medical care, then there is NO reason not to show a photo ID to vote. This is NOT a racial issue!! It should be about legal versus illegal.

    August 30, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Pander Bear

    Oh no!!! Without this legislation there's going to be a 0.0004% increase in potential voter fraud in Texas!

    August 30, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. gord

    republicans bombing the planet so people can show ink on their fingers -but in america you have to have a DNA test

    August 30, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. servant of Jesus Christ

    Thank you God. People forth for and died for citizens to exercise their rights to vote. There shouldn't be any restrictions in place for citizens of this great country to face when they are casting their votes.

    August 30, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Gary Jensen

    Sure think everyone should be able to vote, just do not understand why I have been showing a picture ID in order to vote in KY for 20+ years. Why some places can and others can't ask for a photo appears odd, even a little nuts to me.

    August 30, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Jim

    We need Florida over ruled next.

    August 30, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Way to go! Early voting in Texas starts October 22nd.

    August 30, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |

    How are these poverty stricken minorities receiving their benefits. Are we just handing them out to just anyone? No verification needed? No wonder our country is in the tank!

    August 30, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Scott

    It's a big deal because it amounts to a poll tax. The state is not giving IDs out for free and they are making it difficult to obtain one. Republicans have invented a problem where none exists as usual.

    August 30, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Good to hear this. I'm a double minority where I live. Born and raised in Massachusetts and smack in the middle of Houston suburb The Woodlands.

    This place is a HUGE Tea Party hotbed. I like my neighbors, we speak and have no issues,but a large number of people here have been to college, or in my opinion would be more informed voters.

    People always say if you don't like the situation get up and vote. Well alot of people did in 2008, and it seems some people didn't like that.

    The argument that I always find funny is that african americans voted for Obama because he was black. That doesn't hold water. For the past 40 years or so have african americans not voted democrat in large numbers ?

    ESPECIALLY under Clinton.

    President Obama just happened to be democrat and happened to be part african american. Large numbers of African americans voting Democrat is not new.

    It was ok and fine when Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton ran right ? Oh.......those guys lost, so need for ID laws.

    People make it seem like a large number of african american have been voting R since Reagan and suddenly jumped ship in 2008.

    Not only that, there hasn't been a problem with voter fraud.

    August 30, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    The Republicans in Texas, who have a supermajority in the legislature, just could not resist screwing any potential minority democrats. As they now say in Texas, "the only good democrat is a dead democrat, bunch of commies they are."

    Because of the Republican's Nixonian-desire to completely screw their opponents, they broke the law.

    Why hire second-rate Watergate-burglers, when you can have dumb-as-dirt high-paid crooked-elected-politicians do the deed?

    Thanks Governor "Oops" Perry for putting Texas elections into dissarray.

    August 30, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |

    I don't get it. Why is showing an ID such a big issue?

    August 30, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
    See Voting Acts Right of 1965. Read it and you may get a clue.

    August 30, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. rs

    Shame on Republicans for trying to restrict the right to vote and the Voter's Rights Act. Voting is one of our most precious forms of freedom.

    August 30, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |

    That is **Voting Rights Act of 1965**

    August 30, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. anagram_kid

    da wrote:
    what a travesty. ID required to board a plane, but not to exercise one of the most important duties of a citizen. hideous.

    What a stupid argument. Boarding a plane is not a right and the people impacted by this probably have no need to board planes anyway.

    August 30, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. jane

    They are trying to steal the election like GWB did in 2000

    August 30, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Luke Brown

    If someone is smart enough to get into this country illegally, find work, and avoid arrest and prosecution, do you really think they are going to risk it all to defraud the election system so they can vote ... along with the other 200 millions of us?

    August 30, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. anagram_kid

    Susan wrote:
    If I have to show a photo ID to get my medical care, then there is NO reason not to show a photo ID to vote. This is NOT a racial issue!! It should be about legal versus illegal.
    Really? So if you were hit by a car while out for a walk and did not have any ID on you they would just let you die at the ER? This is purely racial; denying it just makes one look ignorant.

    August 30, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. John,PA

    Texas should ignore the Federal courts and implement the voter id law, follow the lead from Obama himself, look how many laws the Obama and the Obama administration ignored.

    August 30, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. jlnyc

    Complete and utter nonsense. We have enough issues with voter fraud. This has been an issue for the last few elections and those people without some sort, any sort, of valid ID, have had PLENTY of time to get something, anything, that proves their citizenship. Each state's DMV has a list of acceptable forms that's on their site and mailed to them. This isn't rocket science. Gov't again providing a crutch to those that aren't motivated to do for themselves.

    August 30, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. truth hurts

    See Voting Acts Right of 1965. Read it and you may get a clue
    If that is the problem it is time to repeal it. Or at least the parts used to let non-citizens vote.

    August 30, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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