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Civil rights attorneys and activists had a major win this week, with a decision upheld in an Austin, Texas court.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi found that Texas’ strict voter ID law was intentionally crafted to discriminate against minorities. The law, which requires voters to show one of seven forms approved of I.D., has been a source of contention for years. College identification cards are not allowed.
“Proponents touted SB 14 as a remedy for voter fraud, consistent with efforts of other states,” Gonzales Ramos wrote. “As previously demonstrated, the evidence shows a tenuous relationship between those rationales and the actual terms of the bill.”
According to the Associated Press, Gonzales Ramos’ decision follows a ruling from a separate three-judge panel in San Antonio last month that found problems in Texas’ voting rights laws. The panel found that Republicans racially gerrymandered some congressional districts to weaken the growing electoral power of minorities.
Despite the monumental Voting Rights Act of 1965, prohibitory voting requirements still prevent a number of people from casting their ballot due to state legislation.
With a midterm elections coming up in November 2018, it’s vital that these laws be amended to change policies on a local, state and federal level.