According to a report from Talking Points Memo, the Department of Justice has decided that it cannot grant preclearance to the Texas Voter ID Law because the State of Texas has failed to provide enough information.
Texas provided “incomplete” information that does not enable federal officials to determine whether their proposed voter ID law would be discriminatory, the Justice Department said in a letter Wednesday.
Essentially, the letter from DOJ Civil Rights Division Voting Section Chief T. Christian Herren Jr. restarts the clock on when the Department has to make a decision about whether the law signed by Gov. Rick Perry complies with the Voting Rights Act. They have 60 days from when Texas sends them complete information.
Herren writes that Texas did not provide any of the required data on race. Texas said that the voter registration process does not require an applicant to state his or her race, but they are trying to compile the information from Department of Public Safety information as quickly as possible.
Secretary of State Hope Andrade could have used various ways to measure the number of Hispanics who would be affected by the Voter ID Law; instead, they chose the Rick Perry tactic of delay-delay-delay (along with hoping that no one is looking while they violate the VRA). Well, they’ve earned this delay. Unfortunately, it is the people of Texas who are footing the bill for all of these political games.
More to come, I’m sure.
Update: Rebecca Acuña from the Texas Democratic Party released this quote:
“The Republican Party has fabricated this voter impersonation myth to implement policies meant to disenfranchise specific voters.
The Republican voter suppression legislation was unquestionably created to keep certain people from voting. In fact, the limited data that the state has furnished shows that Hispanic voters would be disproportionately disenfranchised. It’s clear that the DOJ’s patience is running out.”
Kudos to the folks at Texas Democratic Party for fighting the good fight on this one.