After the Shelby v Holder Decision - States Change Voting Laws -- Texas 3
Republicans in Texas insisted that the drawing of the current map was intended to shield elections in Texas from voter fraud, an issue that many of its opponents call a "remedy in search of a problem".
Holder said "the action marks another step in the effort to protect voting rights of all eligible Americans." The U.S. Attorney General went on to say that "This represents the department's latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last." Many believe that Holder will go after North Carolina next in the furtherance of the cause.
But with the security of Section 5 of the VRA no longer in place due to Section 4 being deemed unconstitutional, Holder had his work cut out for him. To win a decision in his favor, a court first would have had to have found that the State in question acted with deliberate discrimination under the 14th or 15th amendments, or the jurisdiction in question had admitted to having perpetrated such discrimination. Holder was charging that the Texas law was in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which is among the components of the law that remains intact and prohibits discriminatory voting practices and procedures. Just as the DOJ had initiated an intervention into the redistricting case, the NAACP, one of its plaintiffs had intervened in the voter ID proceedings in support of Holder and the DOJ.
Speaking out on the Justice Department's suit against Texas the director of the voter protection program at the Advancement Project, Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez, said she was "thrilled" that the law enforcement agency had taken steps to fight the imposition of the law. She continued by saying that the exercise verifies that the DOJ can still utilize other tools still existing under the VRA to contest newly imposed restrictive voting laws despite the Supreme Court weakening it with the decision. "It's important for the department to show that Texas may not get away with re-enacting their discriminatory voting law just because we lost Section 5, because there are other sections," she said.
Despite the controversy and ongoing law suits, the controversial Texas Photo ID law went into effect on Oct. 22, 2013, preceding the start of early voting for the election which was held on November 5.
As the newly initiated law stands, a voter's name is required to appear exactly the same on the ID as it does on the voting roll. Those that do not have IDs at the time of an election will be allowed to vote by way of a provisional ballot, and then must return six days later with a valid photo ID for their vote to be considered.
According to detractors of the law, this blueprint will hinder a substantial amount of women whose legal names have been altered, attributable to marriage, divorce and other name change reasons. According to current records, a little more than one third of Texas woman don't have an ID that exactly mirrors their actual current name.
See more on the laws effects on women by clicking here.
Click here to go to Page 4