Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director

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Today’s decision by a unanimous three-judge court in Washington DC that the Texas voter ID law was violative of the Voting Rights Act is a huge victory for Texans who had been stripped of their right to vote by their elected representatives. This is the second time in a week that the State of Texas has been found by a federal court to have violated the Voting Rights Act and the rights of its citizens. Earlier this week, a federal court found Texas’ three statewide redistricting plans to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act. These two decisions speak volumes about the fact that the Voting Rights Act is still very much needed to protect the rights of minority voters, even in the 21st Century.

This is also a significant decision because it is the first time a federal court has ruled on the legality of a voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act and the Texas law plainly did not stand up to the scrutiny. Minority voters are being targeted by these voter ID laws for blatantly partisan purposes.

If legislators feel that voter ID laws must be on the books, this decision makes clear laws have to be inclusive and flexible to ensure all eligible citizens have free access to their most basic right, the right to vote.  

Hebert and the Campaign Legal Center represented voters in Texas who would have been disadvantaged by the voter ID bill.