“Effort to overhaul Texas voter ID rules survives — for now”

Jim Malewitz for the Texas Tribune:

A flurry of legislative activity Sunday night gave life to efforts to overhaul Texas’ voter identification rules — legislation Republicans call crucial to the state’s arguments in a high-profile legal battle over whether the state disenfranchised minority voters.

After clearing the Senate in March, Sen. Joan Huffman’s Senate Bill 5, which in some ways would soften current photo ID rules, had languished in the House. But just an hour before the latest in a series of bill-killing deadlines, an emergency declaration by Gov. Greg Abbott helped push the legislation onto the House’s calendar. The bill will be eligible for a vote on Tuesday, the deadline for the House to approve Senate bills….

Republican leaders fear a failure to enact Senate Bill 5 — in whichever form — would dramatically boost the odds Texas will return to the list of governments required to seek federal approval before changing their election laws, following a federal judge’s ruling in April that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters by enacting one of the nation’s strictest voter identification laws in 2011


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