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Justice Department Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

The Department of Justice has determined that a Texas voter ID law that requires photo identification violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Texas law requires voters to present a driver's license or ID card issued by the state. The law also permits a voter to use military photo ID, a US citizenship certificate that contains the person's photograph, a US passport, or a license to carry a concealed handgun. The Department of Justice found that the Texas voter ID law disproportionately affects Hispanic voters because Hispanic voters are between 47% and 120% more likely than non-Hispanic registered voters to lack acceptable photo identification. The Department of Justice found that Texas "has not met its burden of proving that . . . the proposed [voter ID law] will not have a retrogressive effect, or that any specific features of the proposed law will prevent or mitigate that retrogression." In the voting conext, "retogression" refers to the disenfranchisement of eligible voters. For more information, see EPIC: Voter Photo ID and Privacy.

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