Federal courts shot down two state laws enacted by Republican legislatures aimed at suppressing the vote.
A three judge U.S. District Court panel in Washington blocked a SB14 in Texas which would have required voters to present phooto IDs to election officials prior to being allowed to vote. The court struck down the law, considered the most stringent voter ID law in the country, saying it would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.
“Texas, seeking to implement its voter ID law, bears the burden of proof and must therefore show that SB 14 lacks retrogressive effect. But as we have found, everything Texas has submitted as affirmative evidence is unpersuasive, invalid, or both,” the opinion said.
“Moreover, uncontested record evidence conclusively shows that the implicit costs of obtaining SB 14-qualifying ID will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to ‘retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.’”