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DOJ: Texas Has Provided Incomplete Information - Voter ID

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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 04:08 PM
Original message
Talking Points Memo 11/16/11
DOJ: Texas Has Provided Incomplete Information In Probe Of Rick Perry Signed Voter ID Law

Texas provided incomplete information that does not enable federal officials to determine whether their proposed voter ID law would be discriminatory, the Justice Department said in a letter Wednesday.

Essentially, the letter from DOJ Civil Rights Division Voting Section Chief T. Christian Herren Jr. restarts the clock on when the Department has to make a decision about whether the law signed by Gov. Rick Perry complies with the Voting Rights Act. They have 60 days from when Texas sends them complete information.

Rick Perry and Texas republicans - you fail!

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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Voter ID law approval hits new snag
Postcards from the Lege 11/17/11

Voter ID law approval hits new snag

Texas provided incomplete information on the states voter ID law that does not enable federal officials to determine whether the new law would illegally discriminate against minorities, officials said this afternoon.

That means that it will likely delay the scheduled Jan. 1 start of enforcement of the new law, which will require Lone Star voters to show an approved photo identification before they can cast ballots. However, the next statewide election is the March primary, and it was unclear if the delay would affect that election.

Justice Department officials have 60 days to decide whether the new law violates the Voting Rights Act, once they receives the information from Texas officials.

The law was a hot-button issue for conservative Republicans that Gov. Rick Perry had elevated to an emergency issue to get it quickly passed into law last spring. Democrats, voting-rights advocates and minority groups had harshly criticized the law, but were unable to block its passage in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. New redistricting maps are out!
Edited on Thu Nov-17-11 07:03 PM by Melissa G
Ha Ha Perry/Pub Fail on Voter ID! Big Fat I grade on your papers!

edit for link to maps
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I see the maps now
Texas Tribune makes it easier to view them I think

Texas Tribune 11/17/11
Federal Judges Propose Maps for Texas Legislative Races

A panel of federal judges in San Antonio proposed new redistricting maps for the Texas Senate and the Texas House late this afternoon.

The three-judge panel proposed one map for the Texas Senate, and two for the Texas House, one from the court and another from Judge Jerry Smith, who's on the panel and is a member of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That appears to set up a majority opinion and a minority opinion on the House plan. The judges asked the lawyers on all sides to comment on the proposed maps by noon on Friday. And they didn't issue any proposal, or any information at all about congressional maps that are also pending before the court.

The House plan with two judges on it H298 pairs several House members, meaning there are districts with two incumbents in them, but several of those pairings include members who don't intend to seek reelection. The House map approved by the Legislature included seven pairings; the court's version includes 12. It puts Hispanics in the majority in each of the districts in El Paso County, adds a district in the Hidalgo/Cameron county area, creates a minority coalition district one where Anglos are the minority in Central Texas, and consolidates districts in Corpus Christi.

It's good news for the geek of the House - Scott Hochberg (D) who gets his own district. I love Hochberg! :loveya: Scott Hochberg!!
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Texas Republican overreach slapped down hard by feds
Very good write up at Brains and Eggs by PDittie this morning

Brains and Eggs blog 11/18/11
Texas Republican overreach slapped down hard by feds

The maps drawn for the 2012 elections by the three-judge panel are a huge win, and in some cases are eye-popping.

Democrats could gain a half-dozen seats in the Texas House under an interim redistricting map a federal court released Thursday. <...>

The biggest changes in the proposed Texas House map, which was endorsed by two of the three judges meeting in San Antonio, appear to be focused in the Houston area and could cost the Republicans as many as three seats. Rep. Beverly Woolley's district was largely combined into Rep. Jim Murphy's, Rep. Ken Legler's reconfigured district is heavily Hispanic and Rep. Sarah Davis' new district was won in 2008 by President Barack Obama.

Senator Wendy Davis looks like she will keep her seat. :thumbsup:

I also saw on another blog that traitor Aaron Pena's goose is cooked. He doesn't stand a chance in hell of being re-elected! :woohoo:
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Great job
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
ACLU Texas Liberty blog 11/22/11

Voter ID: Texas Didnt Get it Right, but we Hope the DOJ Will


We argued long and hard against passing the new voter ID bill in Texas, but unfortunately the anti-immigrant haze that covered the Capitol during the last legislative session clouded fair and smart decision-making to ensure the integrity of the vote. The new law, which will require a state-approved picture ID for all people voting in person, is supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2012. Because Texas has a history of voter disenfranchisement, the Voting Rights Act requires the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure that any new voting law does not discriminate against minorities.

The DOJ is waiting on the state of Texas to provide the racial breakdown and counties of residence of the estimated 605,500 registered voters who do not have a state-issued license or ID. They are also asking how many voters have Spanish surnames. Apparently, the Texas Secretary of States office will provide the information but Rich Parsons, a spokesman for the agency said it will be significantly skewed and wont be very reliable. One reason for this is because the category Hispanic wasnt included until 2009. Rebecca Acuna, spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party, said that the limited data that the state has already furnished shows that Hispanic voters would be disproportionately disenfranchised.

The ACLU of Texas was against this bill from the beginning, as it will clearly discourage or downright prevent many eligible voters from voting. ID cards are not easy for all Texans to access there are 34 Texas counties without a DPS office and 46 additional counties where DPS offices have been temporarily closed. In West Texas that means some people may have to travel hundreds of miles to obtain the proper ID to vote. This is unacceptable, especially when the bill was based on a problem voter fraud at the polls that simply doesnt exist in Texas. We hope that the DOJ will come to the right conclusion that the voter ID law in Texas is discriminatory and will disenfranchise voters who are legally entitled to vote. Stay tuned!

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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Great
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PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. The Beaumont Enterprise editorialized
Two things are clear:

1) Republicans' passage of a law in the last state legislative session requiring voters to show photo identification at polling places was not driven by legitimate concern about fraud. It was politically motivated, intended to lower voting participation by Democrats.

2) There is absolutely nothing wrong with requiring people to prove they are who they say they are before they cast a ballot.

By putting a hold on the Texas legislation last week, the U.S. Justice Department further politicized what at heart should be common-sense law. The Justice Department has asked for information the state said is impossible to provide - essentially the race and ethnicity of voters who would be disenfranchised by the new law.

The Republicans started this by including as eligible ID a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, and a military ID - all statistically more likely to belong to GOP-leaning voters - among acceptable polling place identification while excluding other ID forms more likely to be had by low-income Texans, students and the elderly, who statistically are more likely to vote Democrat.

Gov. Rick Perry had the audacity to call it an emergency bill, even though there was no evidence of voter fraud and the legislative session did not lack for real emergency items. All that said, eight other states already require photo IDs, which calls into question the feds' motives as well. Because of the DOJ request, the law might not be in place for the March 6 primary. If that happens, federal involvement will have changed the situation from undesirably anti-Democrat to unacceptably anti-democratic.

This is high douchebaggery by the BE op-ed board. My comment there:

(Re: "There is nothing wrong will requiring voters to rove who they are") Only if the state of Texas offers photo IDs for free, and only if they can avoid disenfranchisement to those who cannot get -- or cannot take time off to get -- to DL offices hundreds of miles away ... as in many places in rural Texas. This would require an outreach program by TxDMV; that is, going to the voters in unserved areas of the state and making themselves available in evenings and on weekends to provide said photo IDs at no charge. But of course the Texas legislature provided no additional funding for this mandate.

So the Texas Voter/Photo ID bill as constituted is nothing but a poll tax, and those are illegal per the 24th Amendment to the Constitution.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. And the biggest issue is that the Texas photo ID law is the strictest in the nation
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 11:45 AM by sonias
Even more so than the 8 states already using it. This coming from a southern Jim Crow state who has a history of voter suppression. The very reason Texas is a Voting Rights Act Section 5 state.

Lest we forget, this continued voting rights suppression by state and elected officials in the State of Texas is not centuries old but continues each election.

Here's the famous 2008 Prairie View Students March to protest the county's continued suppression of the African American student vote in Waller county. This happens every election year like clockwork. And like clockwork the Feds are called in to monitor their elections. Hasn't change the racist hearts of the Waller county election people one damn bit. They cling to their racist past with pride. So imagine giving those kinds of people the power to challenge a voter's photo ID :mad: :puke:

Thousands of Prairie View Students March 7.3 Miles to Vote Burnt Orange Report 2/19/2008
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