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Lone Star Project Report

AG Brief Exposes Hostility to Enforcing Court Order on Voter ID

Abbott and Paxton intend to block voting by citizens whose ID has been lost, stolen, or destroyed

If there was any question that Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton are resisting the federal court order to allow eligible Texas citizens to vote, the brief they filed yesterday answered it. 
 
In their brief, state attorneys inform the Corpus Christi Federal District Court that they will accept alternative forms of identification only from voters who “cannot obtain” one of the specific forms of state-issued photo IDs included in the discriminatory Voter ID law struck down by the Courts.  Their brief reads
 
“The State’s voter education and training materials explain that a voter may be eligible to cast a regular ballot using a Reasonable Impediment Declaration if the voter “cannot obtain” or is “unable to obtain” an acceptable form of photo ID and has a reasonable impediment or difficulty to obtaining such ID.” (page 2, paragraph 2)
 
In practice, if Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott get their way, eligible Texas voters whose state issued ID was lost, stolen or destroyed by fire, flood or some other accident, would be prevented from voting a regular ballot because the State will claim they were able to "obtain" an ID even though its been lost or stolen.  Such an overly restrictive interpretation of the Court’s order is no accident.  It is stark evidence that Governor Abbott, Attorney General Paxton, and other State Republican leaders are aggressively resisting enforcement of the Court’s order. 
 
The state’s brief yesterday was filed in response to a motion filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and by the Private Plaintiffs, including Congressman Marc Veasey, demonstrating that statements by AG Paxton and by Republican elected officials were incorrect and misleading to Texas voters.  In fact, the State was forced to concede in their brief that Attorney General Paxton himself was wrong  when he stated that voters would be called upon to prove their citizenship and place of residence at the polling place. 
 
Presiding Federal Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has scheduled a hearing on Monday September 19th at 5pm to resolve concerns about State officials resisting her order. 

Statement from Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle:
“If you’re wondering what politician would stoop low enough to deny someone whose ID was stolen or lost in a fire or floor the right to vote, you don’t have to look any further than Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton. 

"For nearly five years, Abbott, Paxton and other Texas Republicans leaders have imposed an illegal and discriminatory voter ID law on Texas citizens.  It’s no surprise that they are now attempting to reinterpret and evade a court order to try and keep their discriminatory law in place. 

"The notion that every Texan eligible to vote might cast a vote terrifies Greg Abbott and other Texas Republican leaders.”