Texas argues its voter ID law is fixed

By  | 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Texas solicitor general told federal appeals court judges Tuesday in New Orleans that the state has fixed any constitutional problems with its voter ID law with a simple change: allowing voters who don't have an acceptable ID to fill out a form stating they had a reasonable impediment to obtaining one.

Scott Keller told a 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals panel Tuesday that the law should be allowed to take effect.

Opponents say the law still demonstrates a discriminatory intent, limiting the kinds of acceptable ID to ones more likely to be held by white voters.

They also argue that some voters would be intimidated by the "reasonable impediment" form, fearing criminal penalties if they mistakenly enter wrong information.

The judges did not indicate when they would rule.

Tuesday's hearing at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals centered on a law re-worked in May by the Texas Legislature after years of court battles.

The new version allows residents who don't have an acceptable photo ID to vote by signing an affidavit stating they cannot reasonably obtain one.

The same federal judge who blocked the 2011 version of the law blocked the re-worked version in August.

She said the law still requires IDs more likely to be possessed by white voters than Latinos or African-Americans.

She also said criminal penalties for lying on the affidavit could scare away voters fearful of making an innocent mistake on the form.