Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that Texas’ voter ID law intentionally discriminates against Texans. The judge said the evidence did not support Republican contentions that the voter ID law was intended as a remedy for voter fraud.
“The evidence before the Legislature was that in-person voting, the only concern addressed by SB 14, yielded only two convictions for in-person voter impersonation fraud out of 20 million votes cast in the decade leading up to SB 14’s passage, Ramos wrote. “And the bill did nothing to address mail-in balloting, which is much more vulnerable to fraud.”
In a statement released Monday evening, Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle said, “Sadly, adopting laws that intentionally discriminate against minority Texans has become standard operating procedure for Texas Republican leaders. For the fifth time in five years, a federal judge has ruled that Greg Abbott and other Texas Republican leaders intentionally discriminated against Hispanic and African-American Texas citizens.
“Intentional discrimination is more than a trend, it is a sickening technique Republican leaders use to weaken and undermine the voting strength of minority Texans rather than lift one finger to earn their support.
Texas State Representative Eddie Rodriguez hailed the decision saying, “Today’s victory belongs to all Texans, for state-sponsored discrimination undermines the legitimacy of our elections.
“Although this ruling is gratifying, let me be clear: the Mexican American Legislative Caucus told the Texas Legislature in 2011 that SB 14 would discriminate against Latinos. Republicans shoved it down our throats anyway.
Rep. Rodriguez points out the fight is not only at the state level, renewing a call to action at the federal level he said, “With renewed vigor, I will continue the fight for fair and representative electoral maps with my colleagues in the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. And in the meantime, let all fair-minded people demand that Congress restore the Voting Rights Act so that Texans of color are not left to fend for themselves against the sinister efforts of their state government.”
Angle points out the battle is not over in Texas, “It is near certain that Republican leaders will appeal this decision and spend even more Texas taxpayer money defending intentional discrimination. Their hostility against fellow Texans is unchecked. Rather than heal the wounds of discrimination, I expect Abbott, Patrick and Paxton to inflict even more damage on our great state.”