Good News

[Content Note: Voter suppression; racism; classism; disablism.]

Courts have struck down voter ID laws in both Wisconsin and Texas:
The Supreme Court on Thursday evening stopped officials in Wisconsin from requiring voters there to provide photo identification before casting their ballots in the coming election.

Three of the court's more conservative members dissented, saying they would have allowed officials to require identification.

Around the same time, a federal trial court in Texas struck down that state's ID law, saying it put a disproportionate burden on minority voters.

The Wisconsin requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, is part of a state law enacted in 2011 but mostly blocked by various courts in the interim. A federal trial judge had blocked it, saying it would "deter or prevent a substantial number of the 300,000-plus registered voters who lack ID from voting" and would disproportionately affect black and Hispanic voters.
But the law was then provisionally reinstated by an appeals court, who cited Indiana's voter ID law, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2008. Ultimately, the Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin's law because they are trying to implement it too close to the election. Which means that Republicans in the state are likely to try again.
Thursday's ruling from Texas, issued after a two-week trial in Corpus Christi, found that the state's voter ID law "creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose," Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos wrote.

A spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general's office said it would immediately appeal "to avoid voter confusion in the upcoming election."

Ryan P. Haygood, a lawyer at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, welcomed the decision. "The evidence in this case," he said, "demonstrated that the law, like its poll-tax ancestor, imposes real costs and unjustified, disparate burdens on the voting rights of more than 600,000 registered Texas voters, a substantial percentage of whom are voters of color."
There is an abundance of evidence that voter ID laws disproportionately disenfranchise people of color, elderly people, people with disabilities, and/or people in poverty. It is no coincidence that many of these voters tend to lean Democratic, and that it's Republicans who are advocating for voter ID laws, despite vanishingly few incidences of voter fraud across the nation.

Republicans think people aren't entitled to vote.

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