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What is the voter ID law in Texas?

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Voter ID law in Texas as of 2014 requires that voters present an state-issued identification document before they vote, according to the Economist. However, not all state-issued identification cards qualify. For example, student IDs issued by state colleges cannot be used, but permits to carry concealed weapons can be used.

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This law has been challenged legally because opponents believe that it is politically motivated to suppress the votes from a certain section of the registered voter populace, reports the Economist. However, the Texas voter ID law has survived such challenges, and it is currently in effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued two rulings that have enabled the Texas voter ID law to stay in effect, explains the Economist. The first Supreme Court ruling that was beneficial to the law was the majority opinion in Shelby County v. Holder. That case struck down sections of the Voting Rights Act, which mandated that several Southern states, including Texas, must obtain permission from the federal government before enacting any sweeping voting restriction laws. After this ruling, Texas no longer needed to obtain the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice before enacting the voter ID law. The second challenge seemed to be successful when in October 2013, a federal judge issued a stay on the law, writing in the opinion that the law was equivalent to a poll tax. Responding to an emergency appeal later that month, however, the Supreme Court did not allow the stay to remain in place.

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