Texas’ law is one of the most extreme of the voter ID laws that have become the new fad among Republican lawmakers in the past 2 years. Under its provisions, Texan voters who show up at the polls without ID would not even fill out a provisional ballot ; they would simply be turned away. The law also has a very specific list of allowed IDs. For instance, expired gun licenses from other states are considered valid, but student IDs and Social Security cards are not.
The court was careful to “emphasize the narrowness of this opinion,” noting it is possible to implement a photo ID law without discriminating against minorities. This leaves open the possibility that Texas could write a less blatantly discriminatory measure before the November election. This is the second Texas election law struck down this week for suppressing minority votes; another panel found the Legislature’s new redistricting map violated minority voting rights.