With the Supreme Court suspending the mechanism that forced Texas to get a federal OK before it can implement any election law change, state Attorney General Greg Abbott asserts that nothing now can stop the state from activating its controversial voter ID law.
"With today’s decision, the State’s voter ID law will take effect immediately," Abbott announced. "Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government."
Laughlin McDonald of the ACLU, on a call with reporters, conceded that Texas has "a very strong argument" that in light of today’s Supreme Court decision, it can implement the Voter ID law and other laws that previously required federal approval.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has announced that starting Thursday, "Photo identification will now be required when voting in elections in Texas."
Starting Thursday, Texas driver license offices will begin issuing photo IDs to anyone who doesn’t already have one. Under the 2011 state law creating one of the nation’s most strict voter ID laws, the certificates are free and valid for six years. To qualify, an applicant must show U.S. citizenship and Texas residency. The required documents are listed here to verify U.S. citizenship and identity.