© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Abbott Says Fed Voter ID Lawsuit Is Just Democrat Campaign Tactics

Eileen Pace
TPR News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been fighting for years to keep voter ID laws in place for Texas, and yesterday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed a lawsuit against the Texas voter ID law, one of the strictest in the country, alleging that it disenfranchises minority votes.

Abbott said the move is just part of the Obama administration's link to the Texas Democratic Party and is  a campaign tactic to build support for the party going into 2014.

"You don’t see the Obama administration going after banks by requiring a photo ID when racial minorities go to cash a check, and you don’t see them cracking down on liquor stores that require minorities to show a photo ID in order to buy alcoholic beverages," Abbott said. "And so to see them single out and target the State of Texas reeks of nothing more than political partisanship."

Abbott cites the need for voter ID laws because of a recent case in South Texas where a woman is accused of voting over five times in the same election.

"Isn’t it better to avoid situations like Bush vs. Gore," Abbott said. "Isn’t it better to avoid fraudulent elections like the election of Al Franken to the United States Senate. We don’t want to re-visit the secret ballot in South Texas that helped propel LBJ to the United States Senate."

The Texas law says that if a person doesn’t have a driver’s license they can use a hunting license or a conceal-carry permit to vote, but not a college ID.

The Department of Justice lawsuit also blocks any attempt by the State of Texas to resurrect the 2011 redistricting congressional and state representative maps, maps that three federal judges ruled showed signs of racial discrimination.

During one of the summer's special sessions, the legislature adopted a modified set of interim maps that were originally drawn up by a federal court so that Texas could have voting maps in place for the 2012 elections.

Many worry that primary elections in the spring will face a similar dilemma because of the 2011 Republican-drawn maps.