On Monday, Texas officials said they want residents that want to vote to have picture IDs at all polling places. That was part of the opening statements in a court case that could potentially impact a number of states who have similar voter ID legislation in place.
A panel of three-judges in Washington D.C. will decide on the case, which started Monday and is expected to last the entire week. A ruling is not expected until sometime in August.
State officials said the law is representative of the people’s will and is not running afoul of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that ensures the rights of minorities to vote.
Last year the law was approved by a state legislature that is controlled by the Republicans, to prevent any voter fraud. Governor Rick Perry then signed the bill into law.
The Department of Justice this spring blocked the new law, saying it violated the federal voting act and unfairly impacted Hispanic and other voters from minority groups, who often times vote Democratic.
The act says in part that states who have had a history of laws that have been discriminatory must receive approval from the Justice Department prior to changing any voter laws.
Texas officials claim the law is similar to other laws in other states that have been able to clear legal hurdles. They also said that it would be impossible for the Department of Justice to prove that the new law would hurt any voter, including minority voters.