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FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2014, file photo, an election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, July 20, 2016, that Texas' strict voter ID law discriminates against minorities and the poor and must quickly be scrubbed of those effects before the November 2016 election. Voters will still need to show identification at the polls under the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to attorneys who challenged the law, but a lower court will now also have to devise a way for Texas to accommodate those who cannot. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

In a major win for state voting rights, Texas’ voter ID law was just ruled discriminatory


SB 14 was enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose, has a racially discriminatory effect and unconstitutionally burdens the right to vote.
U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Texas' voter ID law was deemed discriminatory today by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for violating the Voting Rights Act and racially discriminating against black and Hispanic voters. The law has not been entirely struck down but must change before election day this fall.


The 2011 voter ID law required voters to present identification from a specified list. If they didn't have it, they couldn't' vote. Texas was one of nine states with a labeled "strict" ID law and had one of the shortest lists of acceptable IDs. 

According to a 2014 opinion by Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the Southern District of Texas, over 600,000 registered voters in Texas couldn't qualify to vote under the law because they didn't have one of the five government-issued IDs. African-Americans were three times and Hispanics twice as likely as whites to not have these forms of ID. 

Some praised the decision. 

Others were miffed by it.

It is unfortunate that this common-sense law, providing protections against fraud, was not upheld in its entirety.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

While Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement on Wednesday criticizing the ruling.

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