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Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - When Texas voters head to the polls this November, they won’t need to present a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID.

That is because a federal court in Washington struck down Texas’ controversial voter ID law.

Dallas County Republican party chairman Wade Emmert is among the Republicans criticizing the ruling.

Emmert says, “This is far from over. Texas is in the mainstream. This ruling will be appealed, and I’m confident an appeal on the voter ID bill will be upheld.”

It is the second major courtroom defeat for the Texas legislature this week.

The same court rejected the state’s redistricting maps.

Democratic State Representative Rafael Anchia of Dallas says the rulings are significant.

Anchia says, “I think it sends us a strong message to the legislature on the state of Texas that they need to take another look at these bills, become collaborative and work across party lines.”

In a statement, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder said, “The court’s decision today and the decision earlier this week on the Texas redistricting plans not only reaffirm – but help protect – the vital role the Voting Rights Act plays in our society to ensure that every American has the right to vote and to have that vote counted.”

Governor Rick Perry issued his own statement, “Chalk up another victory for fraud. Today, federal judges subverted the will of the people of Texas and undermined our effort to ensure fair and accurate elections.”

The court found state’s law requiring voters show a government-issued photo ID would unfairly impact minorities and the poor.

Anchia says, “It was the most onerous bill in the country and stood to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Texans.”

Emmert says, “If you have to go and show ID when you write a check, and to get groceries, this is no more intrusive.”

Political analyst John Weekley says Republicans and Democrats are battling over who should represent the state’s growing population.

He says, “It’s who’s in what district, and how many districts can be maneuvered around so that you can get more Republicans out of that district, or more Democrats out of another district.”

For now, nothing changes this November when you vote.

Any changes would come within the next two years.

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