The State Risks Federal Oversight
Despite no evidence of voter fraud having any discernible impact on its elections, the state of Texas for years has been trying to implement the most restrictive voter ID law in the country. The law severely limits the IDs that are considered valid, and almost 5% of the electorate does not have any of the required IDs. This has a disproportionate impact on minority voters: Blacks are 3 times more likely than whites to be impacted, and Hispanic voters are twice as likely. The law has repeatedly been struck down by the courts, in part because of its disparate impact and in part because courts have found that this impact was not merely a byproduct of the legislature's actions -- it was the basis for it.
Today the Texas legislature is yet again taking up arms in its discriminatory fight against the boogeyman of voter fraud. The bill will be heard in the House again today, and it will then likely proceed for conference with the State Senate. Theoretically, if Texas were to fail to modify the law, it could come under federal oversight again -- though who knows what that would mean in today's environment. But this is high stakes business for the legislature, as they appear determined to keep their restrictive policies in place as much as possible.