Abbott Appeals The Texas Voter ID Decision

Yesterday courts blocked enforcement of the voter ID law in Texas.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="https://embed.hpm.io/92887/53608" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Courts have blocked enforcement of the voter ID law in Texas just weeks before Election Day. 

The Department of Justice sued Texas, arguing the new law would discriminate against minorities. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled in favor of the federal government, declaring the new law a de-facto poll tax.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is appealing.

“We’re gonna be asking for relief before early voting begins, which is a week from Monday. Our goal is to have the voter ID law remain in place for this election,” said Abbott. 

Republican-backed voter identification rules have swept the nation, with mixed rulings across the country. The decision in Texas comes as the U.S. Supreme Court barred Wisconsin from enforcing its own voter ID law.

“For reasons I cannot understand, it seems like the Democrats think that requiring to show a photo ID is going to somehow interfere with their ability to vote,” said Abbott. 

If the Texas law went into effect, about 600,000 citizens may not have been able to vote. Most of them would be Latino and African-American. Abbott says it’s a shame that some see voter ID laws as a way to suppress minority voters.

“It’s disappointing that they would say that because it’s almost insulting to suggest that if you’re African-American or Hispanic that you can’t get an ID, because we know they can. In states that have passed the voter ID, voter participation by African-Americans and Hispanics has increased,” said Abbott. 

But a September GAO report found that voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee lowered turnout among young people and minorities in 2008 and 2012. Texas has found only two instances of in-person voter fraud among more than 62 million votes cast in all elections in the past 14 years. 

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required