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Block The Vote: The Use Of Voter ID Laws In Texas

A volunteer stands outside a polling station in Arlington, Virginia. Virginia is among the 34 states in the U.S. that require voters to show identification at the polls.
A volunteer stands outside a polling station in Arlington, Virginia. Virginia is among the 34 states in the U.S. that require voters to show identification at the polls.

The history of casting a ballot in the United States has been marked by the battles to make voting accessible. While poll taxes and literacy tests are no longer legal, some states have turned to other laws that voting access advocates say turn voters away. Most states now require some form of identification.

In Texas, you’re required to bring photo identification with you to the polls. But many types of IDs aren’t permissible — including those issued for students, workers and military members. It’s a result of a law that  determines what forms of identification are accepted in an effort to prevent fraud. But that law been called one of the strictest in the nation.

Voting rights advocates say the law purposefully discriminates against Black and Latino voters. It led to a years-long battle in court to ease the restrictions that ultimately ruled to keep the law on the books. Still, some experts say the law, and others like it, remain a form a voter suppression. And polling suggests these laws are popular with most Americans.

We’re exploring the use of voter ID laws in Texas as a part of our “Block The Vote” series.

 

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