Mar 13, 2012 by

[3.12.12 — Requiring everyone in Texas to have a photo I. D. is actually helping people to access services.  Yesterday I went into a store in Texas to use my credit card. Before I could use it to purchase some purchases, I had to show the clerk my photo I. D. I have also had to show my photo I. D. to board a plane, to gain admittance into public school buildings and athletic facilities, to be allowed to rent equipment, to check books out of a library, to join the YWCA, to cash checks, to rent a car, to stay at a motel/hotel, and in many other everyday situations.

Requiring voters to show a photo I. D. is absolutely not disenfranchising minority populations but is helping them to learn to be independent and responsible members of society. I believe most minorities would feel more secure knowing they have a photo I. D. that they can utilize frequently in their daily lives.

The Department of Justice under the Obama administration is permeated by politicos who are not honoring minority populations by helping them learn to assimilate into our American society.  The DOJ’s motto: “Keep the minorities in their barrios and ghettos so they can be controlled by the liberal Democrat politicians.” – Donna Garner]

Department of Justice rejects Texas’s voter ID law

By Tim Eaton | Monday, March 12, 2012, 10:10 AM

Updated 1:57 p.m. with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott statement on voter fraud Updated 1:25 p.m. with primary election uncertainty and an expected federal court ruling. Updated at 12:45 p.m. with reaction.

The U.S. Department of Justice today declined to give its blessing to the Legislature’s voter ID law.

The law, which would require a voter to present a valid government-issued identification card, needed the federal government’s approval through a process called “preclearance.”

Texas and several other states and municipalities, mostly in the South, must go through preclearance because histories of discrimination in voting.

The Justice Department wrote: “Because we conclude that the state has failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the proposed law will not have a retrogressive effect, we do not make any determination as to whether the state has established that the proposed changes were adopted with no discriminatory purpose.”

Separate from the Justice Department’s ruling, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has taken steps to allow the Voter ID law to be enacted.

Abbott, who filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C. in January to make sure the measure can take effect, is expecting to the Justice Department to respond to the suit by April 9.

But even if Abbott gets the opinion he wants from the court, it remains unclear if Voter ID could be enacted for the upcoming May 29 primary elections.

The decision from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice drew mixed reactions from both sides of the debate.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio Democrat and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said the law would disenfranchise the minority community, if it was put into place.

“Should this legislation ever see the light of day, it would immediately become the strictest voter qualification law since the poll tax,” Martinez Fischer said in a statement. “Worse yet, photo identification requirements for voters drastically affect the electoral participation of the poor, the elderly, and the transient, which means those who need their government’s ear most will be the last to be heard.”

On the other side of the issue, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, criticized the administration of President Barack Obama over the denial of preclearance.

“Today’s decision by the Justice Department to challenge Texas’ voter ID law is another example of the Obama administration’s abuse of executive authority,” Smith said in a statement. “The Texas voter ID law is based off of the Indiana law, which was upheld by the Supreme Court. This is an abuse of executive authority and an affront to the citizens of Texas. It’s time for the Obama administration to learn not to mess with Texas.”

Smith noted that the GOP-controlled Legislature passed the Voter ID bill – with staunch Democratic objection – in an effort to curb voter fraud.

“Voter ID laws help ensure the integrity of our elections and protect the rights of lawful voters,” Smith said.

In a statement Monday, Abbott offered some statistics of voter fraud.

“Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Justice has prosecuted more than 100 defendants for election fraud,” Abbott said. “During the same period, election fraud investigations by the Texas Attorney General’s Office have resulted in 50 convictions.

But during the debate of the Senate Bill 14 – the voter ID bill by state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Marble Falls and sponsored by state Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring — Democrats argued that voter fraud was not nearly the problem that Republicans said it was.

And today, the Justice Department seemed to agree.

“(W)e note that the state’s submission did not include evidence of significant in-person voter impersonation not already addressed by the state’s existing laws,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez.

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