Texas Republicans Speak Out Against Appellate Court Ruling Striking Down Voter ID Law
Texas Republicans, including Governor Greg Abbott, on Wednesday were speaking out against a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which struck down Texas' Voter ID law.
Governor Greg Abbott said, “The 5th Circuit rightly reversed the lower court’s finding of discriminatory purpose, but wrongly concluded the law had a discriminatory effect. Voter fraud is real, and it undermines the integrity of the election process. As Attorney General I prosecuted cases against voter fraud across the State, and Texas will continue to make sure there is no illegal voting at the ballot box.”
Current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released his statement early Thursday afternoon, “It is imperative that the State government safeguards our elections and ensures the integrity of our democratic process. Preventing voter fraud is essential to accurately reflecting the will of Texas voters during elections, and it is unfortunate that this common-sense law, providing protections against fraud, was not upheld in its entirety.”
According to the AG's Office, the Legislature enacted the voter ID law in 2011 through Senate Bill 14 (SB14), which required voters to present government-issued photo ID when voting at the polls. The seven acceptable forms of photo ID included the following: a Texas Driver’s license, free Texas election identification certificate (EIC), Texas personal ID card, Texas license to carry a concealed handgun, U.S. military ID card, U.S. citizenship certificate, and U.S. passport.
State Senator Charles Perry (R- Lubbock) also chimed in concerning the Fifth Circuit ruling, "Today an unelected federal court struck down key components of Texas' Voter ID law against the will of the people. I was proud to co-author this law as a freshman legislator and fought hard for its passage.
"In the upcoming session, I am confident we will be able to craft legislation in compliance with the court’s findings to ensure we meet constitutional requirements while protecting election integrity at the ballot box," Perry said. Senator Perry will appear on Thursday's Chad Hasty Show on News/Talk 790, KFYO at 9:05am to discuss the ruling.
State Representative Dustin Burrows (R- Lubbock) said concerning the ruling, "Our Republic is built upon the integrity of our elections; and, unfortunately, today's decision takes away part of Texas' ability to protect against fraud."
Finally, late Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released a following statement praising the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, “I am pleased with today’s decision by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit holding that Texas’s 2011 photographic voter identification law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. This decision affirms our position that Texas’s highly restrictive voter ID law abridges the right to vote on account of race or color and orders appropriate relief before yet another election passes.”