Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
Two groups representing minority voters and officeholders sued to block the state’s new voter ID law, which will be used for the first time in a statewide Texas election this November — barring intervention by a court.
The new law requires voters to show an approved photo identification card when they vote. Its requirements “have a discriminatory effect ... and were enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose,” according to the lawsuit filed against the state by the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches and the Texas House’s Mexican American Legislative Caucus.
"Voter IDs are required of every Texan — regardless of race — and are offered free of charge to anyone who needs one. The partisan groups who continue to attack this commonsense, popular ballot integrity measure have failed to produce a single Texan who has been or will be prevented from voting," said Lauren Bean, a spokewoman for the attorney general's office. "Recent elections in Texas have shown that the photo ID requirement has not disenfranchised anyone. And the Texas law was fashioned after the voter ID law the U.S. Supreme Court has already said is legal."
In their suit, the groups said the new law “disproportionately prevent Latino and African-American citizens in Texas from voting in person and, in the totality of the circumstances, deny Latino and African American citizens an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and were enacted for that purpose.”
The suit was filed in federal court in Corpus Christi, where two similar cases are set for hearings later this month: one filed in June by a group including U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, and another by the U.S. Department of Justice, filed in August. Dallas County joined the Veasey lawsuit last month.