Judge orders Texas to let feds review new voter ID outreach

Vote here sign - (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)
Vote here sign - (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (KXAN/AP) — A federal judge says Texas must change its voter outreach efforts after the U.S. Justice Department accused the state of reneging on a deal to soften its tough voter ID law.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Tuesday also ordered Texas to begin letting federal officials review drafts of voter outreach and education materials before they are published. Ahead of the order, the Texas Attorney General’s Office claimed in court filings that late edits could confuse voters and prerecorded TV and radio ads would be costly to change.

“It’s a lot to keep up with, for a person that’s registered to vote, it’s like you know you’re registered so there’s no need to monitor it,” said voter Monsherra Odanga.

Texas was forced to relax voter ID requirements before Election Day after a federal appeals court found the state’s 2011 law discriminated against minorities and the poor.

The Justice Department says that despite the ruling, Texas still gives the impression that some voters can’t cast a ballot.

Texas must now tell residents who can’t obtain an ID due to a “reasonable impediment” that they can still vote by signing an affidavit.

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