After days of expert testimony, the Texas Voter ID case is now in the hands of 3 federal judges in Washington. Attorneys for the State and the Justice Department made closing arguments on Friday. Now, the judges will have to decide if Texans will have to show a photo ID at the polls.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott spoke with Newschannel 6 via conference call on Friday afternoon. He said, "There were 2 things we conclusively addressed or established in the voter ID trial this week. One is that voter fraud is a proven problem in the state of Texas that must be addressed."
But just how serious is voter fraud? The Texas Attorney General's office has reported only 62 cases since 2002. Abbott said, that's enough. "How many instances of proven voter fraud are necessary in order to have a voter ID law upheld?"
The Justice Department claims the new law violates the Federal Voting Rights Act, which is meant to protect minorities and the poor from being discriminated against. One Texoma resident believes that's just what's going on. He said, "I think that's just a way for the government to keep people from voting maybe like people who aren't technically citizens but have grown up here since they were 2 or 3 years old but they weren't born here. I feel like they should have a say in the government they were raised in."
Other Texoma residents didn't see a problem with the new law. One said, "I don't see any problem with it. I use my drivers license if I don't happen to have my voters ID card with me."
Attorneys for the state of Texas said they have the integrity of the electoral process in mind, not an intent to discriminate. They repeatedly cited the states of Indiana and Georgia which have their own voter ID laws. AG Greg Abbott called the entire challenge of the law a "Political Charade."
It's unclear how long it will take the 3 justices to make their decision, but they have said they'd like to have a decision by the November election.