With the 2016 presidential election heating up, ensuring that everyone is able to vote without the interference of questionable legislation is imperative.
Under Texas’ strict voter ID law, an estimated 600,000 people don’t meet the ID requirements necessary to be able to vote, but a recent federal appeals court ruling found that the law illegally discriminates against the Blacks and Latino residents in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act. Several of the laws’ restrictions disproportionately affect minority voters, including a provision that deems concealed handgun licenses an acceptable form of ID to vote, but doesn’t accept student IDs.
As a result of the ruling, residents who previously did not meet the ID requirements may be able to sign affidavits, or use other yet-to-be determined methods to vote, according to NBC News. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch celebrated the federal appeals court decision, noting that she was pleased with the outcome. “I am pleased with today’s decision by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit holding that Texas’s 2011 photographic voter identification law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” Lynch said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “This decision affirms our position that Texas’s highly restrictive voter ID law abridges the right to vote on account of race or color and orders appropriate relief before yet another election passes.”
Although the controversial Republican-backed law was not thrown out all together, the ruling marks progress in the country’s fight against the recent increase of state legislation rooted in discriminatory voting practices that have threatened to keep minorities from the polls during the upcoming presidential election this November.
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