Voter ID Laws Face Legal, Public Relations Hurdles in Texas, Wisc., and Penn.
The Obama administration on Monday blocked a new law in Texas requiring voters to show photo identification before they can cast a ballot, citing a concern that it could harm Hispanic voters who lack such documents. The Justice Department said that the requirements for potential voters in Texas could lead to them paying high fees for copies of legal documents such as birth certificates. Additionally, nearly one-third of the counties in the state do not have offices where potential voters can obtain a driver’s license or state identification card, and some residents live more than 100 miles away from such locations, the Justice Department said.
A Dane County, Wisconsin judge also struck down that state’s new voter ID law on Monday – the second judge in Wisconsin in a week to block the requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls. The latest ruling goes further than the one issued last week, because it permanently invalidates the law for violating the state constitution.
In addition, a new voter ID law in Pennsylvania is drawing flak because it wouldn’t allow disabled veterans to use a photo ID issued by the Veterans Administration if it is not stamped with an expiration date (http://bit.ly/w52kkS). Governor Tom Corbett (R) signed the bill into law on Wednesday; a legal challenge looms.