If Upheld, Evidence Shows That Texas Vote Suppression Law Will Disenfranchise 600,000 Voters



On Monday, a U.S. District Court heard closing arguments in the case that challenges the most militant and vicious vote suppression law in America.  Various groups including The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Brennan Center for Justice, the NAACP and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives were joined by the Department of Justice and private organizations in a consolidation of challenges to this heinous vote suppression law.

Opponents of Texas’ vote suppression law pointed to hard evidence that the law will disenfranchise 600,000 Texas voters.  Adding insult to injury, taxpayers are paying for this court battle with tax dollars.  Some of those taxpayers are the very people Greg Abbott is fighting to disenfranchise.


The Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under the Law is one of the parties challenging the vote suppression law.  Their lawyer, Ezra Rosenberg, pointed to hard numbers that prove this law will disenfranchise 600,000 racial minority voters in Texas.

The statistics reveal:

  • .Blacks and Hispanics are between 1.6 times to 4 times less likely than Whites to have SB 14 ID, and
  • Approximately 4% of all registered voters, or approximately 600,000 registered voters, lack SB 14 ID.

While the stats show the adverse effect on racial minorities is extreme, that in itself doesn’t prove there was a discriminatory intent behind the law. Since racial minorities overwhelmingly vote Democrat, there could be wiggle room for Abbott’s claim that this law is about partisan based discrimination and vote suppression.

However, Rosenberg took care of that problem with six witnesses from the legislature who testified to the discriminatory intent of the law.

When you consider this evidence along with the fact that Republican lawmakers opposed proposed amendments that would have broadened the list of acceptable ID, it’s all but impossible for a court to accept that disenfranchising so many voters is really about protecting the integrity of the vote. More so, when you consider that in person voter fraud is statistically non-existent in Texas and in every other state.

Abbott concedes that this law suppresses the vote.  He insists the discriminatory intent is based on party preference rather than race and besides it’s justified to stop voter fraud. Even though there is a great chance of seeing an UFO than an occurrence of in person voter fraud.

He did try to bring in the Koch backed True the Vote to spin a story about rampant voter fraud  , but the court wouldn’t have it.

Greg Abbott did not produce a single legislative proponent of the law to substantiate his claim about the legislative intent perhaps because he couldn’t find someone willing to lie to the court.

It’s possible that Abbott remains confident that when the Supreme Court gutted the strongest deterrent against raced based vote suppression, it gave the Republicans a license to suppress votes by minorities. Abbot might have believed that he can hoodwink the courts into believing that the indisputably adverse effect of this law on minority voters is just a coincidence when the discrimination in this law is purely on partisan grounds. Sure, and I believe in the tooth fairy too!

The combination of stats and testimony by witnesses from the legislature who are in a position to know why Republican lawmakers were so determined to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Texans makes it difficult for Abbott to spin or charm his way around the evidence. He can’t rely on the court deferring to an honorable legislature because of that testimony.  He can’t claim that there is a state interest because the law intends to stop in person voter fraud, where in person voter fraud is statistically non-existent.  The best he had was the manufactured numbers that True the Vote was sure to provide.  However, the court saw through that maneuver.

The fact that True the Vote tried to intervene at the last minute shows even Abbott recognizes he was overly confident that the court would just take him at his word.

The court, located in Corpus Christi, gave no indication of when it expects to issue its ruling in this case.

Image: Media Matters


19 Replies to “If Upheld, Evidence Shows That Texas Vote Suppression Law Will Disenfranchise 600,000 Voters”

  1. We’ve got to get Abbott out of office, along with Rick Perry. I never thought that 50 years after LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act, we’d revisit voter suppression. First it was the Dixiecrats in the Democratic Party.
    Now it’s the Dixiecrats in the Republican Party. These bigoted, white politicians have spent the past 150 years wasting time, energy, and money wanting to keep people of color from voting.

    Then we as a country point fingers at Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran…and call them backwards. We’re no better than they are in many ways.

  2. If those people didn’t have an ID but have voted many times in their life time we should not let them go down in flames. But I will wholeheartedly endorse burning at the stake Perry and his crew. I’ll even bring the match.

  3. This is the real voter fraud and I wish the village would call it as it is. They chase their dingleberry lace ass over 30 cases out of a billion votes cast to give credence to this bovine excrement.

    Don’t worry baggers, soon the shoe will be on the other foot

  4. In order to vote in many states voters must sign twice once in the

    district registry and a voting slip of paper given to the person at the voting booth
    . That slip is numbered.

  5. My god, these people have no shame! They will lie, cheat, steal, who knows what else to remain in power…all in the name of GREED. Another suspicious tidbit, I picked up a new DVR Time Warner box today and my new box block’s MSNBC……I called for a fix and they are puzzled why it’s blocked!

  6. Damn! If you agree with everything Obama has done and said so far, then you’re a bigger hippocrite than your writing.

  7. Talk about a right wing conspiracy. Hillary was correct about that, except it wasn’t about Bill’s womanizing. It’s been about rigging the vote and suppressing real journalism by buying up the media and controlling it.

  8. It makes no sense to have a Voter ID law that fixes a problem that no one has proven exists! I don’t see how the law has remained on the books this long. Maybe if Republicans had passed the law because they were concerned that spaghetti monsters were voting instead of non-citizens, maybe it would have made a difference. But, even though neither of them exists, I don’t think it would have made a difference.

  9. It could be a lot of reasons. Maybe they have ID but moved and didn’t change their address. Maybe some don’t drive and are elderly and no use for the new and improve official ID.

    This is nothing more than a jim crow poll tax. It is not right and its kind of funny that the same people that now wants a ID to vote were railing against a national ID as an infringement of their rights as private citizens. But I guess amnesia is a powerful drug

  10. Ok, lets back up here a minute. Abbott said, “The discriminatory intent is based on party preference rather than race.”

    The way I read that, the voter suppression law isn’t totally about race, it is not just about disenfranchising minorities, it is about preventing people OTHER than Republicans from voting. When did that become legal?

    Granted, most of the people that will be affected by this Texas law are the Blacks and other minorities. And they tend to vote Democratic, but this appears to me to be a blanket disenfranchisement of Democrats, period.

  11. Almost all of the laws they have passed refer to minority areas. Such as closing polls early, no sunday voting etc. He can say what he said becuase minorities as a rule vote Dem

  12. “Why are there 600,000 people without a valid ID? They disenfranchising themselves.”

    Here we see the thought patterns of Moronicus Beerbrainia, most surly of the baboon family. An inbred cousin of the Red Assed Mandrill, it can be distinguished by its ability to maintain of tiny portion of self esteem, by asking and answering its own self-deluding questions.

  13. I’m with you Pat, I’d like to know just when that strategy was found to be legal. How is vote-rigging for any reason legal?

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