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Thursday, March 21, 2019

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New voting restrictions may affect students


What was once thought of as a common right of those 18 and up will soon become a privilege. States have been fighting about how easy or hard it should be to vote in each state, and this issue is now being directed to the Supreme Court.

According to an article from Slate.com, the cases each state is dealing with range from voter identification laws to early voting rules.

In Texas, a student ID is not accepted to vote, but a concealed weapons permit is. These restrictions apply to both the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election.

The trial for the Texas voting restrictions case just ended. Observers expect a judge to rule whether the law violates the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act. There’s no question that if the judge puts Texas’ voter identification law on hold, the state will appeal higher, with the case potentially ending up in the Supreme Court.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Justice Department — which is fighting the law — began closing arguments during the case by flashing onto a projection screen how many eligible voters lack an acceptable form of ID: 608,470.

It also argued that black residents in Texas are four times as likely not to have an ID as white residents, with Hispanics being three times as likely not to have an ID. Both minority groups are traditionally Democratic voters.

Rick Hasen reported on the Election Blog that, based on some of the judge’s earlier rulings, her appointment as a Democratic appointee and reports from argument, there is a fairly good chance that the judge will strike down Texas’s voter identification law under the Voting Rights Act. If that happens, the case would go to the 5th Circuit, where there could well be a reversal, since the 5th Circuit has many more Republican appointees and is one of the most conservative courts in the country.

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