Texas Voter ID Law Threatened by U.S. Department of Justice

By State Rep. Ken Paxton

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – During this spring’s Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed the Voter ID Bill (Senate Bill 14), which I proudly co-sponsored with many of my colleagues. However, as of November 16, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice is still unwilling to grant Texas clearance to implement the Voter ID Bill, as the department is still searching for voter registration data for Texas voters.  

This has, naturally, stalled the implementation of the Voter ID law in Texas.

The Voter ID law passed the Texas House overwhelmingly with bi-partisan support of 68% in favor, As a result, voters will be required to show a form of photo identification when voting in the 2012 election.

The Texas Voter ID law will require voters to provide one of the following forms of a photo identification in order to vote:

  • A driver’s license
  • A personal identification card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • A U.S. military identification card with a photograph
  • A citizenship certificate with a photograph
  • A U.S. passport, or
  • A concealed handgun license issued by DPS.

A photo identification card is currently required by the government for many other legal activities including:

  1. Driving
  2. Boarding an airplane
  3. Receiving a passport
  4. Purchasing alcohol or tobacco
  5. Obtaining a marriage license
  6. Receiving a medical license
  7. Checking out a library book, and
  8. Purchasing certain over-the-counter drugs including ephedrine

In addition, many retailers require showing photo identification when making a credit card purchase so the cashier can make the determination that the credit card has not been stolen.

In June 2011, a Rasmussen Poll showed that 75% of likely United States voters believe that voters should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to vote, which demonstrates the substantial support from citizens who are in favor of strong Voter ID laws such, as Senate Bill 14.

However, Texas is subject to the federal Voting Rights Act which requires the U.S. Department of Justice to pre-clear changes to state election law.  The U.S. Attorney General has 60 days to consider a completed pre-clearance submission to the Voting Rights Act, which was submitted by the Texas Secretary of State’s office on July 25, 2011.

The U.S. Department of Justice has not objected to similar Voter ID laws in Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, and South Dakota which have jurisdictions that must also face Department of Justice pre-clearance.

The state of Indiana’s Voter ID law was upheld by U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on January 4, 2007.  The United States Supreme Court removed an injunction against the Arizona Voter Identification law in 2006 stating “voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust in our government.”

The law — and prior pre-clearance actions by the U.S. Department of Justice — indicate that Texas has sovereignty to adopt election law provisions that promote integrity of the electoral process and eliminate fraudulent voting.

Unfortunately, the recent trend in Washington has been to:

  1. Limit a state’s ability to govern itself & Balance their own Budgets
  2. Impose additional Federal Regulations detrimental to Job Creation & Economic Growth
  3. Ignore Border Security
  4. Ignore changes to Immigration Laws that will encourage Legal Immigration while stopping organized crime, and now
  5. Delaying the Implementation of Texas’ Voter ID law, which will promote Election Integrity

Washington’s recent message is clearly designed to promote the federal government’s micromanaging of policies to fit their current political desires, instead of allowing Texans to govern Texas in a way that we can be responsive to the needs of our citizens.

Representative Ken Paxton was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002 and is currently in his 4th term representing District 70. Paxton received his BA & MBA from Baylor University, and also earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He and his wife Angela live in McKinney, TX and have 4 children.


  1. We have to be thankful that we have taken birth in the era where everything is done instantly, yet accurately and can assist ourselves in unique ways our ancestors never even dreamt about.

  2. CW, you never fail to amaze, with links to pertenant information. Thank you for that and for your kind words, as well. I shall try to stay on point, in future posts.

  3. As CW pointed out, I am well on my way to sinility and owe T-Tex an apology, but now I need to ask David P about his second paragraph, because I recall The Texas Rangers arresting the Wise County Sheriff, for bogus arrests, at a rest area, near Decateur a few years back and also The Rangers investigated and audited the Denton County Sheriff’s office for corruption. I grew up thinking that The Texas Rangers were the top law enforcement organization, in the state.

  4. I like the idea of arresting all Department of Justice employees in Texas. I don’t have a personal grudge against these folks, but their bosses are so corrupt that they make the Mafia look like choirboys. If they had a definition for “domestic enemy” they might realize that their bosses need to be in jail.

    By the way, did you know that the most powerful law enforcement official (even trumps the President) for each county is the COUNTY SHERIFF? No one has more authority in his county than he does. FBI, Dept of Justice, etc are all subservient to him. They have to have his approval to do anything in his county.

  5. Not all states are under the Voting Rights Act. Only southern ones. We are still under reconstruction. I know what you’re thinking here, but it’s true.

    As for secession, do your research. And for God’s sake, think independently. What you should find is different from what most of us were taught in school. Just think about it. Would ANY sovereign nation freely choose to join in a republic if they knew they would NEVER be allowed to leave it if the republic became tyrannical? What…is America like the Mafia or something?

    We’re on the Titanic here folks. How long are we going to continue playing in the band and pretending like everything’s okay?

  6. SEEMS very CLEAR to me:

    I think you and your boss (OBAMA) are a bunch of:
    1. Jew
    2.Law abiding white(s) [should have stayed eliminated the s]
    3. America loving Patriot


    Not exactly politically correct BUT explicitly CLEAR.

    I thought it was worth REPEATING :)
    Thanks for giving me an excuse FR SR ;>)

  7. T-Tex, did your brain outrun your typing fingers? Your third sentence is a tad confusing. I think I was able to figure out the rest. My hands are old and slower than my brain, but my brain isn’t that fast either. ;>)

  8. Hey holder what are you trying to distract the gun running episode and come down here and fxxk with us.We treat everyone the same on the voter ID everyone has to show a picture ID.I think you and your boss are abunch of Jew,Law abidding whites, America loving Patriots haters.I guess you give the crotch salute also when the flag passes Does your wife whisper in your all of this for a flag too.We know that you refuse to prosecute Black panthers and the occupiers for their unlawfulness.

  9. Another great link, CW ! I was under the impression, that since Texas was brought back into The Union under the force of arms, that the right to sucede was negated. Your posts are always very informative.

  10. Can it be any more clear that the leftists have, and will continue, to throw “red herrings” (minority disenfranchsement, minority intimidation, burdensome regulation and voter suppression) at any attempt to ensure the integrity of elections and the election process…and especially delay full implementation of the Texas’ and other similar state laws until after the 2012 election?

    One-by-one, states are using this method as a preemptive strike against attempts at voter fraud. However, groups like ACORN, their progeny, the NAACP and MALDEF, etc., are leading the charge to the courts…because they cannot win in either the legislative or the public arenas.

    Voter I.D. laws all incorporate a simple and FAIR concept that applies to EVERY PERSON who shows up at a polling place: ONE identifiable individual who is determined to be qualified to cast a ballot in the election being held equals ONE legitimate voter.

  11. 1. Are all state subject to the Federal Voting Rights Act?
    2. It apears that the feds have exceded athe time fraim for review, can we now press forward or can they stall indefinatly.
    3. Do they blame this delay on former Pres W. Bush? ever thang else seems to be his fault.

  12. Time to have the Texas Rangers to arrest all US Department of Justice employees in Texas until all information is released on the death of Brownsville native Jammie Zapata

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