AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld Texas’ voter ID law that a judge had twice blocked after calling the requirements discriminatory.

The 2-1 decision Friday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is a victory for Republican lawmakers who’ve spent years defending what critics say is one of the toughest voter ID measures in the nation.

It’s also the second major ruling in the U.S. over a voter ID law in as many days after an Arkansas judge Thursday blocked that state’s measure.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a revised law last year that allows people to vote without an acceptable ID so long as they sign an affidavit.

But opponents say new criminal penalties will have a chilling effect on voters.

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