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Thread: Federal court strikes down Texas voter ID law

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    Federal court strikes down Texas voter ID law

    Federal court strikes down Texas voter ID law


    By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer

    updated 3:53 PM EDT, Thu August 30, 2012

    Washington (CNN) -- A federal appeals court in Washington Thursday struck down the Texas voter ID law requiring photos for voters at the polls, calling it racially discriminatory.

    The decision is a major victory for the Obama administration and its Democratic allies, which had challenged the law.

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott promptly announced the state will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

    Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID measure into law last year, but it had yet not gone into effect because the federal Voting Rights Act requires changes in Texas voting laws to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department.

    Attorney General Eric Holder denied the pre-clearance of the measure in March, concluding that Texas failed to show the law will not have "the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race."

    The three-judge panel agreed.

    Although the law provides for approved voter registration certificates with no photo as acceptable for voting in certain circumstances, the court said the law imposes "strict unforgiving burdens on the poor." The court noted the requirements will fall heavily on African-Americans and Hispanics, who make up a disproportionate percentage of the poor in Texas.

    The panel of judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also said it was ruling only on the Texas law, and not issuing a statement about other state voting laws. It noted the Justice Department had approved a Georgia voter ID law in which the state promised to provide free photo ID cards to citizens who request them.

    Eric Holder defends opposition to proposed Texas voter ID law

    Holder praised the court's decision Thursday.

    "Under the proposed law, many of those without the required voter identification would be forced to travel great distances to get one -- and some would have to pay for the documents they might need to do so," said a statement from the attorney general.

    Holder also repeated his assertion that the law would discriminate against minorities.

    Abbott, meanwhile, said Texas will immediately take the case to the nation's highest court, where "we are confident we will prevail." He said the Supreme Court had already approved similar ballot integrity safeguards passed in Georgia and Indiana.

    The ruling comes as another three-judge panel in Washington is hearing arguments this week on a similar law passed in South Carolina. Republican-dominated legislatures say such laws are designed to eliminate voter fraud. Democrats claim there is no voter fraud issue, and that the laws are designed to reduce voting by poor minorities.

    "Chalk up another victory for fraud," said Gov. Perry, in a statement on his website. "Federal judges subverted the will of the people of Texas and undermined our effort to ensure fair and accurate elections. The Obama administration's claim that it's a burden to present a photo ID to vote simply defies common sense. I will continue to work with Attorney General Abbott to fight for the same right that other states already have to protect their elections."

    The Texas law said those who are 65 or older, disabled or expect to be absent on Election Day may vote by mail without presenting identification.

    Earlier this month, a state court in Pennsylvania approved a voter ID law requiring photo identification at the polls.
    I fthe founders had wanted up to produce ID when voting, maybe they should have put that in the founding documents too.....right?

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    I'd throw my support to voter ID laws....




    ...if I didn't see fake ID's work at all the college bars in town.


    Sent from my Double-Wide using Semaphore...

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    Apparently it would keep dead Dimocrats from voting, therefore it is discriminatory against the dead...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I fthe founders had wanted up to produce ID when voting, maybe they should have put that in the founding documents too.....right?
    Texas screwed this one up by not offering free ID supplied by the state. Stands up in court in every other state that does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Texas screwed this one up by not offering free ID supplied by the state. Stands up in court in every other state that does.
    My dad is disabled and 82 they came to his house with the forms and a camera for a whopping 6 bucks. About the same price of a rock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acepepe View Post
    My dad is disabled and 82 they came to his house with the forms and a camera for a whopping 6 bucks. About the same price of a rock.
    You think they're going into Houston's fifth ward with forms and a camera charging 6 bucks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by isired View Post
    You think they're going into Houston's fifth ward with forms and a camera charging 6 bucks?
    So an area of the city is dangerous, because of the residents, and it's discriminatory because it's too dangerous to have the $6 mobile ID kit TO them?

    Of course, JP is right, stupid for TX to not make the ID free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brady's a catcher View Post
    So an area of the city is dangerous, because of the residents, and it's discriminatory because it's too dangerous to have the $6 mobile ID kit TO them?
    Discriminatory to the vast majority of residents who aren't dangerous.

    But really, the issue should be this: how many multiples of legitimate voters are you going to exclude with this policy vs. fraudulent votes cast? And that alone makes it clear this is gamesmanship.

    I just raised the other point because the thought of a team of kids in short sleeve dress shirts going in to a neighborhood like that to collect 6 bucks and take some pictures made me laugh. Then let's say they're successful, they register a thousand voters, now get to leave with $6k in cash on them. Sounds like the first film for some disney actors looking to break into action movies, maybe "The Short Life of Zack and Cody"

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    Quote Originally Posted by isired View Post
    Discriminatory to the vast majority of residents who aren't dangerous.

    But really, the issue should be this: how many multiples of legitimate voters are you going to exclude with this policy vs. fraudulent votes cast? And that alone makes it clear this is gamesmanship.
    Al Franken is in the Senate because of felons voting. Best case for reform out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isired View Post
    But really, the issue should be this: how many multiples of legitimate voters are you going to exclude with this policy vs. fraudulent votes cast? And that alone makes it clear this is gamesmanship.
    1. If no ID is presented at time of registration or to confirm identity at the time of voting, how do you know the vote is legitimate?

    2. How do you track illegaitimate votes in a process that does not verify identity at the time of voting, and is "secret ballot", meaning no checks or confirmations of votes can be performed afterwards?

    In my view, basic photo ID is a basic requirement, a basic responsabillity of you prefer, of a citizen. Rights do not exist in vaccuum. They come with responsabillity, and almost universally, some form of regulation. On this issue, I cannot find agreement that asking a voter to identify themselves with something more than taking their word on it is "unreasonable" in this day and age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isired View Post
    Discriminatory to the vast majority of residents who aren't dangerous.

    But really, the issue should be this: how many multiples of legitimate voters are you going to exclude with this policy vs. fraudulent votes cast? And that alone makes it clear this is gamesmanship.

    I just raised the other point because the thought of a team of kids in short sleeve dress shirts going in to a neighborhood like that to collect 6 bucks and take some pictures made me laugh. Then let's say they're successful, they register a thousand voters, now get to leave with $6k in cash on them. Sounds like the first film for some disney actors looking to break into action movies, maybe "The Short Life of Zack and Cody"

    No, I agree, the ID should be free, and I would not want to send anyone into those hoods with cash/making cash transactions.

    But again, part of the reason these places are so dangerous is the "stop snitchin'" mentality, even among the non-criminals. Not much sympathy for someone who can't even make an anonymous call to dime out killers of 11 year olds....

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    Al Franken is in the Senate because of felons voting. Best case for reform out there.
    Out of curiosity, do you think someone organized that, and felons knowingly went out, and all of them voted for Franken?

    Don't see how that's an argument for voter ID - the felony voters were registered with the state under their own names. You don't need any more information than that to cross-reference against a list of felons (that's how they found them, after the fact, right?). The state just didn't do their job there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    Al Franken is in the Senate because of felons voting. Best case for reform out there.
    Why shouldn't a felon be allowed to vote IF they are no longer incarcerated, or on parole, probation, or supervised release?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    1. If no ID is presented at time of registration or to confirm identity at the time of voting, how do you know the vote is legitimate?

    2. How do you track illegaitimate votes in a process that does not verify identity at the time of voting, and is "secret ballot", meaning no checks or confirmations of votes can be performed afterwards?

    In my view, basic photo ID is a basic requirement, a basic responsabillity of you prefer, of a citizen. Rights do not exist in vaccuum. They come with responsabillity, and almost universally, some form of regulation. On this issue, I cannot find agreement that asking a voter to identify themselves with something more than taking their word on it is "unreasonable" in this day and age.
    I can only speak to NY, but I assumed all states were similar, they confirm your identity before you're registered. You enter your DMV or last 4 of your SSN on the form, or if you don't have either, you have to present either a bank statement, government check, etc. If other states don't require this, they should.

    After that, it's a signature match, same as when you use a credit card. And if you think that the people at the polling place are not savvy enough to see a botched side-by-side signature, you're going to trust them to spot a fake ID?

    I personally like the indeible ink finger - eliminates duplicate voting entirely, and even a felon or other ineligible voter is at least announcing to everyone that sees/knows them that they voted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Why shouldn't a felon be allowed to vote IF they are no longer incarcerated, or on parole, probation, or supervised release?
    Its the law currently. We weren't talking about whether that law should be changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isired View Post
    Out of curiosity, do you think someone organized that, and felons knowingly went out, and all of them voted for Franken?

    Don't see how that's an argument for voter ID - the felony voters were registered with the state under their own names. You don't need any more information than that to cross-reference against a list of felons (that's how they found them, after the fact, right?). The state just didn't do their job there.
    Don't know - wasn't there. Anything's possible. One would think that at some point after conviction that felons would be told that they're not allowed to vote anymore, and if they do, its a crime.

    Check this if you like: http://washingtonexaminer.com/york-w...3#.UEDOOCIn2sg

    As for voter ID: if you can positively ID a felon, then you can check to see if he is a felon. I see the connection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    Its the law currently. We weren't talking about whether that law should be changed.
    What's the law?

    Only 2 states bar time-served felons from voting...the rest allow them. Maybe I'm not following. Not enough coffee in the bloodstream yet

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    What's the law?

    Only 2 states bar time-served felons from voting...the rest allow them. Maybe I'm not following. Not enough coffee in the bloodstream yet
    Since we're talking Minnesota, that's the only one that matters. you're going tangent on us; come back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isired View Post
    I can only speak to NY, but I assumed all states were similar, they confirm your identity before you're registered. You enter your DMV or last 4 of your SSN on the form, or if you don't have either, you have to present either a bank statement, government check, etc. If other states don't require this, they should.
    Thats funny, I was at a event once in NY, years ago now, and they were doing a voter registration drive that didn't do any of what you've listed here.

    Seriously, what kind of fool would register to vote at the various "registration drives", often staffed by teens or poli-wonks or interest groups, and hand back a piece of paper with their actual SSN or DMV number on it?

    And is there any check of that SSN or DMV number to ensure it actuallty belongs t that person at the time the form is submitted, or do they just thake the form-writers word on it? If so, it's not exactly worth much as a security check. Hell, I could register my brtohers, mother and dead father in New York without a problem then, I know all their SSN's.

    But it leads to a larger question.....if all the folks liberals claim will be hurt can do this and provide what you say is required to register, how is it that they suddenly cannot manage to obtain an ID and present it at the time of voting? Did they lose some large portion of theri adult functionality between time of registration and time of voting?

    And if you think that the people at the polling place are not savvy enough to see a botched side-by-side signature, you're going to trust them to spot a fake ID?
    Actually, I guarantee you that polling place staff cannot "see a botched side by side", nor would they ever call someone out on it if they suspected. Not only is it vastly harder than you assume it is to spot check if not a handwriting expert, there is an inherant hesitation to make a claim that someone is not who they claim to be. Trust me on this one.

    End of the day, I've yet to hear a good argument against ID check. Other than the usual
    poor minorities can't do what the rest of us do, we have to protect them for their own good" liberal logic, the expectation of an ID at the time of voting is both minimal, and reasonable, as long as the State offers a free ID for the purpose of ID/voting only, something I fully support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    Since we're talking Minnesota, that's the only one that matters. you're going tangent on us; come back.
    Gotcha.

    Is there an online petition available to sign to change Minnesota's law?

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