Source: AP/Paul J. Weber
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge who has compared Texas’ voter ID requirements to a “poll tax” on minorities once again blocked the law Wednesday, rejecting a weakened version backed by the Trump administration and dealing Texas Republicans another court defeat over voting rights.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos rejected changes signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott this summer as not only lacking but also potentially chilling to voters because of new criminal penalties. The new version didn’t expand the list of acceptable photo identifications — meaning gun licenses remained sufficient proof to vote, but not college student IDs.
Instead, the changes would allow people who lack a required ID to cast a ballot if they signed an affidavit and brought paperwork that showed their name and address, such as a bank statement or utility bill. Those revisions were supported by the U.S. Justice Department, which under President Barack Obama had joined Democrats and minority rights groups in suing over the law.