Gov. Rick Perry has slammed the rejection of a Texas voter ID law by federal judges as “another victory for fraud.”
A Texas law requiring photo identification to vote was rejected by federal judges in Washington in a third case on Thursday.
The ruling was the first time U.S. judges weighed in on the Obama administration’s effort to use the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to block a state from requiring photo ID to vote.
Texas is one of eight states that passed similar laws last year that Republicans said would prevent voter fraud. Democrats said the laws were designed to suppress the vote for their party.
“The state of Texas enacted a voter ID law that — at least to our knowledge — is the most stringent in the country,” U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote in the decisions. “It imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty.”
Several other states are awaiting decisions on the legality of new voter identification requirements.
“Chalk up another victory for fraud,” Perry said in a statement. “Today, federal judges subverted the will of the people and undermined our effort to ensure fair and accurate elections.”
Also on Thursday, a panel of three federal judges created interim voter maps for use in Texas’s primary elections in May after voting rights groups challenged state-drawn districts as biased against minorities. Judges said in an order that they preferred using the interim maps for the November election.
On Aug. 28, a federal court determined that voter boundaries created by Texas’s GOP-controlled legislature discriminated against Hispanic and black voters. That ruling came in a separate lawsuit through which Texas sought federal approval of its new maps under the Voting Rights Act, a step required of all states with a history of voting rights violations.
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