The law was one of the strictest propositions this country has seen in recent efforts to tighten ID requirements. The State of Texas was not prepared to offset fees certified documents needed to get the new ID. They offered no plan to mitigate the burdens faced by voters who would have to travel long distances to agencies providing the documents and ID's.
This lack of support, for registered voters forced to scramble to meet new ID requirements by November 6, was the downfall of the law. The court found that Texas did not begin to meet its burden - per The Voting rights Act - to prove the new requirements would not prevent minority voters from casting their ballot. It was the possibility of incurred costs that set the Texas law apart from the Pennsylvania law that is also in court.
Opponents of the Pennsylvania ID may face a tougher challenge in court than Texas; the PA Dept. of State has provided for free birth certificates for those who need them. But the roll-out in Pennsylvania is already underway, and voters have encountered one problem after another trying to get ID's. Hopefully the weight of so many real-life examples of the barriers created will make the PA law unacceptable to the courts.
The other Voter ID law that is presently in court is the one in South Carolina. I don't have as much information about that one yet, but I understand it is less strict than the Texas law, so it may survive trial. More on that tomorrow.
Click here to read the Texas decision from today.