Democracy costs. To be sustained, it requires time, deliberation and constant vigilance. These costs are high enough.
But some states are manufacturing additional costs to undermine our democracy. Texas’ dogged defense of its racially discriminatory voter ID law is a prime example.
For the fourth time in three years, a federal court has declared Texas’s voter ID law racially discriminatory. The law prohibits voting for those without a narrow selection of photo IDs — primarily Black and Latino Texans.
Multiple courts have sided with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and our partners to strike down the state’s draconian voter ID laws. On August 24, a federal district judge in Corpus Christi rejected Texas’ latest attempt to substitute its beleaguered photo ID law with a weakened but still discriminatory version. The court ruled that its latest incarnation, Senate Bill 5, retains the core architecture of its intentionally discriminatory predecessor, Senate Bill 14.
Yet the state stubbornly persists in its racism, spending over $3.5 million as of 2016, to defend the Legislature’s work in court.
Participation in our democracy should not require a membership card — certainly not one premised upon the myth of voter fraud. The district court debunked the myth of widespread in-person voter fraud, on which Texas relied to justify the bill. When forced to present evidence of such fraud in court, Texas could not.
Read the full op-ed here.