No ID? You can still vote. Voter ID law blocked by Justice Dept. - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

No ID? You can still vote. Voter ID law blocked by Justice Dept.


The White House is blocking a new law that would require Texas voters to have a valid ID before casting their ballot.

Officials say the decision was made because the law could stop thousands of registered Hispanic citizens who may not have an ID. 

The state law was approved in May last year, and it requires voters to show government issued photo identification.

This is something Congressman Louie Gohmert says would protect our nation.

"We have the most easily defrauded voting system anywhere, and we're the most sophisticated country in so many respects," said Gohmert.

Michael Tolbert with the Smith County Democratic Party said the law was directed towards minorities, with 300,000 Hispanics who don't have state issued ID's.

Under the Voting Rights Act, the state of Texas is required to show the impact the new ID law would have on minority voters.

"The requirement was that they show proof that it would not have a discriminatory or suppressive effect on groups that have historically been discriminated against at the polls, and the state failed to do that," said Tolbert.

Advocates for the voter ID law say not only does it protect against fraud, but it also keeps the people voting responsible.

"It's a big responsibility, and I think a responsible person would have a photo id on them, and would be the best type of person to be voting," said Richard Vance, a Tyler resident.

"Go get an ID, pretty simple; I think it's simple," said Don Liles, a Tyler Resident.

Opponents of the law feel like it takes away simple voting rights, and is focused on minorities.

"I don't think it's right. I think everybody should be able to vote if they want to vote and not just trying to put a gag on somebody," said Kenneth Adams, a Tyler resident.

"If you're a legal citizen you should be able to vote, regardless," said Julia Endicott, a Tyler resident.

Gohmert says the law wouldn't have stopped anyone from voting.

"Show me eligible voters who do not have ID cards and I'll show you some people that can get them," stated Gohmert.

Texas officials have already asked a panel of judges to clear them to enforce the law.

A hearing in that case is scheduled for this week, and the Justice Department filed a copy of its letter to the state before the court.

Today, Governor Rick Perry said today's action is an example of the Obama Administration's continuing and pervasive federal overreach.

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