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Texas Voter ID Trial Round Up Day 3

by: Edward Garris

Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM CDT

Day 3 of the Texas Voter ID trial is over.  What happened?

The Austin American-Statesman is running an Associated Press report stating that Daron Shaw testified that the voter ID law would not have an impact on voter turnout.  

According to pretrial filings by the state of Texas, Daron Shaw is a professor at the University of Texas and

"an expert on whether S.B. 14 will have a discriminatory effect on minority voters and on the popular support for photo voter identification laws.  As disclosed in his reports, Professor Shaw concludes that photo voter identification laws do not suppress voter turnout, thus those laws do not abridge or deny the right to vote, much less suppress voter turnout on account of race or membership in a language minority group."

According to the AP report in the Statesman, "Shaw said he had worked as a political strategist for both of President George W. Bush's presidential campaigns."

Also testifying on Wednesday, according to Reuters, was Rev. Peter Johnson, "a Southern civil rights leader who has worked for decades to help black Americans access polls."  The Reuters report stated that in his testimony, Rev. Johnson stated that racism was still "rife" in Texas from top to bottom and that the voter ID law was a manifestation of this.

And according to a report from the San Antonio Express-News, Sen. Rodney Ellis countered the State's evidence, asserting that the purpose of the voter ID law was to lessen voter minority turnout.

According to the article, he testified:

"They knew what they were doing, and they intended to do it.

"This bill has everything to do with race."

The trial is expected to wrap up this week.  The United States is expected to show that the Texas voter ID law imposes a substantial burden on voters; will suppress minority voter turnout; and has a discriminatory purpose, especially as it will make it more difficult for Hispanic and black voters to reach the polls, if this law is upheld.  Texas is attempting to show that the law will not deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, does not impose a legally significant burden on any voter, and will not decrease voter turnout.  The state is also striving to show that there is ample voter fraud in Texas, and that the law was not enacted with a discriminatory purpose.


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