© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Source: Voter ID Out, But Not Settled

vote-here-aqui-sign-121024.jpg
Chris Eudaily
/
TPR News

Laws in Texas and Wisconsin that required a photo I.D. to vote were discarded last week. In Wisconsin, the law was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Texas, a federal court judge in Corpus Christi threw the law out. 

Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said Texas' law violated the Voting Rights Act as well as the constitution. You can find her opinion here. Early voting starts next week, and Judge Gonzales Ramos ruled the law would not be used in the midterm elections.

Voter I.D. supporters across the country argue the laws are needed to combat fraud, which they have had a hard time proving exists. In a recent 7th circuit-court opinion, Reagan-appointee Judge Richard Posner wrote that voter fraud occurs in 1 out of every 14.6 million voters. Find his opinion here.

"...think of how much it would cost to orchestrate an effective voter-impersonation fraud, given the number of voters who must be bribed, and in amounts generous enough to overcome their fear of being detected, and if detected prosecuted." -Judge Richard Posner

Opponents of the law successfully argued in Texas that the laws sought to disenfranchise minority voters who are more likely to lack photo identification. Judge Gonzales Ramos compared the law to a poll-tax.

Advocates for voter I.D. are arguing that the short time span will cause confusion among poll workers and voters. The state of Texas appealed the ruling to the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The state also filed for a stay, so that the law could be used in the midterm election.

Are these the final days of voter I.D. laws? What impact could they have on the midterm elections, just three weeks away?

Guests:

  • J. Christian Adams, attorney for True The Vote, author of "Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department."
  • Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, (D-San Antonio) state representative and chairman of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive