A federal court ruled today that 1.4 million Texans will not need to obtain photo ID in order to vote in the November 6th election this year.
The verdict in Texas v. Holder, the history-making trial to determine the fate of Texas’ Voter ID law, comes after weeks of deliberation that brought the Texas League of Young Voters to Washington, D.C. as defendant-intervenors in the case.
The Texas League argued that the Voter ID law (SB 14), passed in 2011, would have created a significant burden on young and minority voters by not allowing them to use their voter registration card or student IDs to vote as they have been able to in the past. In addition, the law would not allow a valid ID from another state, work IDs used by a state employee, or any expired state-issued personal identification cards or driver’s licenses.
The Texas League of Young Voters made a video during the trial, which garnered thousands of views on YouTube and was shared widely on social networks.
Supporters of the law aimed to use Voter ID to combat voter fraud. Since the law would affect 1.4 million eligible voters in the 2012 election, the Texas League and the NAACP-LDF argued that the law did not correctly address voter fraud allegations without disenfranchising a large portion of the Texas electorate.
“This is a validation of the power that people have when they organize,” Christina Sanders, State Director for the Texas League, said. “But the fight is not over. Thousands of young voters who were placed in jeopardy by Voter ID have a major role to play in this upcoming November election, and we are going to organize them every step of the way.”
To combat Voter ID, Texas organizers built online and offline networks of thousands of young activists, using online organizing and social networking to organize petition drives to insist the Department of Justice refuse pre-clearance to SB-14.
Now, with the protracted battle over Voter ID behind them, the Texas League will continue mobilizing its network of young organizers on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities to turn out thousands of young voters in the November 6th presidential election.
“Even with the defeat of SB 14, we still have many young voters confused about what the rules are for them to cast their ballots,” Blake Green, Texas League Deputy Director said. “Notwithstanding that, we are committed to continuing to register, educate, engage, and protect the voting rights for young people. Our struggle continues and we will continue to fight.”