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Texas Voter ID Law May Take Effect, Appeals Court Rules

In decision 2-1, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals of the US Circuit. UU In New Orleans, it overturned a lower court ruling that had blocked the law last year after concluding that the state acted with the intention of discriminating against minorities.

Friday's decision is a great victory for Texas on the issue of voting rights.

The state voter identification law has been under a legal challenge for years.

The first law, known as Senate Bill 14, was passed in 2011 and came into effect in 2013. It required voters to present identification documents issued by the government, such as a state driver's license, a certificate of Texas election identification, a US passport or a military identification card.

Supporters of the law say that requiring photo identification before casting a vote prevents electoral fraud. Critics argue that the law deprives poor and minority voters, who face difficulties in obtaining identity documents, of rights.

A federal court blocked SB 14 during the 2016 elections, but lawmakers implemented a second measure, Senate Bill 5 photo identification to vote by signing a statement.

But last year, the revised law was blocked in a lower court.

At that time, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas said that the law discriminated against many black and Latino people.

He said that the law "had a discriminatory impact" and that there had been an "unexplained pattern of behavior for reasons other than the (the) racial factor."

Acclaimed Governor

In a statement, the Department of Justice applauded the decision of the appeals court.

"The Department of Justice is committed to free and fair elections, and its protection is essential to our democracy." The Department of Justice joined the State of Texas to argue that SB 5 complied with all of the Fifth Circuit mandates when It was approved by the legislature, and we are pleased that the court has accepted today, "said spokesman Devin O & # 39; Malley.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision and said the revised law "removes any burden on voters who can not obtain a photo ID."

"The court correctly recognized that when the Legislature approved Senate Bill 5 it complied with every change that the Fifth Circuit mandated the original voter identification law," Paxton said in a statement. "Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to preserve our democracy."

Other states

Voter identification laws have sparked controversy elsewhere.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a lower court ruling that blocked the key provisions of the North Carolina voter ID law.

In establishing a stalemate 4-4, the court enforced the ruling of a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that contained provisions of the law directed at "African-Americans" with almost surgical precision. "[19659002] The law that was repealed required photo identification to vote, imposed restrictions on early voting days, and eliminated registration on the same day Republican leaders in the North Carolina legislature complained that the decision was politically motivated

Wisconsin's election identification law has been in and out of court for several years.

A federal judge criticized the state government in 2016 for not doing enough to inform the public that "valid credentials for voting "would be issued to those who visit the DMV and initiate the process of requesting identification, but the judge did not annul the voter identification law. 19659022] Mayra Cuevas of CNN, Kevin Bohn, Ariane de Vongue, Madison Park and Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.


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