Those requirements, Justice Ginsburg wrote, “may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters (about 4.5 percent of all registered voters) from voting in person for lack of compliant identification.”
“A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic,” she added, adding that “racial discrimination in elections in Texas is no mere historical artifact.”
Texas officials quarreled with Justice Ginsburg’s math, which was drawn from evidence presented to a trial court. In their brief urging the justices to allow the election to proceed under the 2011 law, they said that trying to determine the number of people the law would deter from voting was a fool’s errand and called the estimate of 600,000 disenfranchised voters preposterous.
Justice Ginsburg also said the law “replaced the previously existing voter identification requirements with the strictest regime in the country.”
She noted that Texas would not accept several forms of ID that Wisconsin did, including “a photo ID from an in-state four-year college and one from a federally recognized Indian tribe.” The Supreme Court on Oct. 9 refused to let Wisconsin use its voter ID law in the current election.
Texans who lack a required form of identification cannot easily obtain it, Justice Ginsburg wrote. “More than 400,000 eligible voters face round-trip travel times of three hours or more to the nearest” government office issuing IDs, she wrote, and they must generally present a certified birth certificate.
Is anyone fooled by blatant efforts to prevent a democratic vote?