NCLR Applauds Federal Court Decision to Strike Down Texas Voter ID Law
September 04 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Camila Gallardo (305) 573-7329/cell: (305)215-4259
Law would have disenfranchised over one million Latino and minority voters just months from November election
Washington, D.C.—Last week, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauded the decision of a federal three-judge panel to strike down the Texas voter ID law which threatened to disenfranchise millions of minorities just months from the upcoming presidential election. The Voting Rights Act requires certain states with egregious histories of voter disenfranchisement to have any voting laws precleared by the Justice Department or a panel of three federal judges. The panel in this case made their decision to deny preclearance claiming that the law would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor.”
“We are encouraged by yesterday’s decision to deny preclearance to the Texas voter ID law, one of the most stringent in the nation. Voter fraud in Texas, as in many other states that have passed similar laws, is virtually nonexistent; it’s clear that the intent of those pushing these new requirements is to keep minorities from the polls,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states have some sort of voter ID law. Many of the states with the strictest laws are also places where, according to Census figures, minority populations have shown tremendous growth.
Latino voters in Texas are a significant group; the state is home to the nation’s second-highest Hispanic population, which comprises 38 percent of the state’s total population and one-quarter of the state’s electorate. This growth may have alarmed some and led to the series of attacks on Latino voting rights in the past year. Just last week, a separate federal panel found that Texas’s new redistricting maps discriminated against Black and Hispanic voters by drawing the districts in a way that diluted minority voting power.
“This election is a critical one for Latinos; we cannot and will not be kept from exercising our constitutional right to elect our government. NCLR and its partner organizations in the Latino and Black communities will continue to fight against these efforts to silence our voices and are committed to registering and encouraging our community to turn out to vote in significant numbers,” concluded Murguía.
NCLR has helped register over 60,000 new Latino voters through its multistate campaign, Mobilize to Vote (M2V). M2V is at the core of NCLR’s Civic Engagement Program, which aims to build and support long-term Latino participation in the democratic process.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
Issues: Mobilize to Vote, Latino Voter Participation
Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas