A U.S. appeals court on Friday allowed Texas to implement a law requiring photo identification at the ballot box, reversing a lower court decision that blocked the measure on the grounds it could be discriminatory against racial minorities.
In a 2-1 decision, a panel from the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law, which was designed as a fix for previous voter ID legislation struck down for being discriminatory.
The panel said the new legislation enacted last year had “improvements for disadvantaged minority voters,” the latest chapter in a seven-year dispute over voter ID at the ballot box in Texas, the most-populous Republican-controlled state.
The move comes as several Republican-controlled states have pushed voter ID laws they say will prevent fraud at the ballot box. Democrats contend fraud is exceedingly rare and the real intention is to disenfranchise racial minorities, who typically support Democrats and are also less likely to have the required identification.