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Coalition urges Justice Department to block Texas voter ID law

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/c7d3fb7929Thumb1.jpg.jpgThe U.S. Department of Justice has one week to object to Texas’ new photo ID requirement at polling places, and a coalition of opponents to the new law made their case for the DOJ earlier this week, with in a letter calling the new law discriminatory and “unlawful under the Voting Rights Act.”

The Republican-dominated Texas Legislature passed the new law earlier this year, designated “emergency” legislation by Gov. Rick Perry this time around. GOP efforts had come up short in previous sessions, but this year Texas joined a handful of states enacting similar laws.

“This law is a part of the largest legislative effort to turn back the clock on voting rights in our nation in over a century,” said Advancement Project co-director Judith Browne Dianis in a statement.

The group goes on:

Black and Latino voters are approximately twice as likely to lack the requisite state ID than white voters and will experience a heavier burden in terms of costs than their white counterparts. Only 9 percent of white Texans live below the federal poverty level compared to 22 percent of African Americans and 26 percent of Latinos. Black and Latino voters in Texas earn 44 percent less than White voters.

The Advancement Project devoted particular attention in a report earlier this year to efforts by the Houston tea party group King Street Patriots, and its True the Vote campaign to train poll-watchers for voting sites, often in minority areas — an effort the Texas Independent has been following.

the law in Texas has gotten p

The League of Young Voters Education Fund joined in the effort Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“In balancing the non-existent harm of in-person voter fraud against the measurable and identifiable record of actual disfranchisement of qualified voters, the coalition believes that the Department should err on the side of permitting qualified voters access to the polls,” Christina Sanders, the group’s state director, said in a statement.

The TPMMuckraker blog reported Tuesday that the DOJ is in the middle of considering a handful of states’ new voter ID laws, paying particular attention to the states’ justification for passing the law.

Read the coalition’s letter to the DOJ below:

Voter ID DOJ Comment Letter

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