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Tag: Voting Rights Act

Closing Arguments to Begin Today in Texas Voter ID Law Trial

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Judges who will determine the fate of Texas’ controversial voter ID law are to hear closing arguments in the case today after both sides wrapped up testimony Thursday.

During the hearing, some experts testified that the law, which would require voters to show a valid ID, would disproportionately affect minorities. Lawyers for Texas countered that there is no evidence to make such a claim.

The Justice Department claims the new law violates the Voting Rights Act, which was designed to protect minority voting rights.

The judges expect to make a decision before November’s election.

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AG Holder Pledges to Fight Texas Voter ID Law at NAACP Event

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Attorney General Eric Holder pledged Tuesday to aggressively challenge new voter restriction efforts during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Houston, the New York Times reports.

“In our efforts to protect voting rights and to prevent voting fraud, we will be vigilant and strong,” Mr. Holder said. “But let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”

Holder’s speech comes as the Justice Department is in federal court over Texas’ photo ID voting requirement, which Holder says violates the Voting Rights Act and disproportionately impacts minorities, young people and the elderly, according to the New York Times.

Holder pledged to vigorously enforce civil rights violations.

“The arc of American history has always moved toward expanding the electorate,” he said. “It is what has made this nation exceptional. We will simply not allow this era to be the beginning of the reversal of that historic progress.”

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Florida’s Voting Restrictions Burden Minority Population, Justice Dept. Argues

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Florida unfairly burdened the state’s minorities by reducing early voting house the Justice Department lawyers argued before a three-judge District panel in Washington D.C., the Chicago Tribune reports.

The new rules are intended to ward off voter fraud by requiring people who moved between counties to fie provisional ballots. Counties also are permitted to reduce the number of early voting days and adjust voter precinct hours.

The Justice Department points out that 55 percent of black voters used early voting periods to cast their ballots, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, federal approval for electoral changes must be sought by states with a history of discrimination.

Justice Department to Oversee Elections in South Carolina

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department announced it will monitor primary elections in two South Carolina counties following complaints of discrimination.

Tasked with ensuring fair elections, the Justice Department said in a press release that it will assure that local officials comply with the Voting Rights Act, which bans discrimination on the basis of race.

Civil rights groups have complained that Fairfield and Williamsburg counties unfairly target minorities.

The Justice Department sends hundreds of federal observers to monitor elections across the country.