“Clearly there is a sense that the political stakes are high,”Christopher Elmendorf, a professor of election law at the University of California Davis School of Law, said in an interview. “There’s a belief that in close elections these laws could make a difference.”
Since 2004, six Texas House elections have been won by less than 50 votes, the state said in a July 1 filing. In the 2010 general election, the victor in a state-house district west of Austin was decided by 12 votes, according to the state.
The case marks the first time a federal court will weigh in on the Obama administration’s effort to use the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to block a state from requiring photo ID to vote.
Texas is one of 16 states or jurisdictions that need permission from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before changing election procedures because of their history of voting rights violations.
….Groups that intervened in the case say they have found such would-be voters, including those who don’t have transportation, can’t locate documents, aren’t allowed to take time off from jobs or lack funds to pay for a new state ID.
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