Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court struck down an onerous and potentially costly Texas voter identification law. Due to a history of discriminatory practices, Texas is one of 16 states or districts of states whose voting and elections laws must be approved by the Justice Department. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires the Justice Department to “pre-clear” new election laws in covered states, counties, and districts to ensure the new rules do not discriminate based on race, color, or language.
After the Justice Department refused to allow the Texas law to proceed, the state appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court, which ruled that the law violated Section 5. In response to this decision, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
“No election should be won or lost based on the exclusion of eligible voters. Barriers at the polls are a violation of a basic principle of our democracy; our country relies on the participation of its citizenry in choosing elected officials, without regard to race, gender or geographic location.”
Read the entire statement here.