Voter ID Back In Place For Election - What You Need To Know
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Texas voters will need to show ID at the polls this year – but not all forms of ID are accepted. Early voting begins next Monday, October 20th, and your vote can make a difference.
The voter ID law has been up in the air in recent days. Here's a quick update on what's going on:
- October 9, 2014 - A federal district court judge ruled that Texas' voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act, is a poll tax, discriminates against African-Americans and Hispanics, and should not be in place for the 2014 election.
- October 14, 2014 - The hyper-conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas' voter ID law should remain in place. Important note: the 5th Circuit Court didn't overturn the district court ruling. All the 5th Circuit Court said was that while they wait to hear the full case, they are preserving the "status quo" on the ground by keeping voter ID in place.
- October 15, 2014 - Opponents of the voter ID law asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 5th Circuit's decision:
In their emegergency appeal to the Supreme Court, the plaintiff's lawyers argue that reinstating the law will lead to "massive confusion" at the polls, disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters and amount to the state enforcing rules that have been found to discriminate against some citizens. The plaintiff's lawyers also took issue with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' argument that the Supreme Court favors "preserving the status quo" when voting rules are in question shortly before elections. The status quo, according to the plaintiffs, is the law before SB 14 went into effect because the state has "failed effectively to implement the law or educate voters and elections officials about its requirements.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make their final decision on whether or not the law will be in place for 2014 very soon. In the mean time, we have to assume voter ID will be in place when early vote starts next Monday.