Making Democracy Work

Voter ID Law Overturned

What type of identification will voters need in November?

Appeals Court Ruling

On July 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Texas Voter ID Law discriminates against minorities and must be revised before Election Day. The District Court has been ordered to come up with "an interim remedy for SB 14's discriminatory effect that disrupts voter identification rules for the 2016 election season as little as possible, yet eliminates the Section 2 discriminatory effect violation," and to see that its plan is put into effect in Texas in time for the November election.

The Voter ID Law was Senate Bill 14, passed in 2011. It required that all Texas voters who voted in person were required to present one of several specified forms of photo identification.

An earlier District Court ruling had found that the law "has a discriminatory effect on minorities' voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act." The Appeals Court, sitting en banc (all judges present), determined that the District Court's finding was not in error, and it remanded the case to the District Court "for a consideration of the appropriate remedy in light of the impending general election."

The current Texas Voter ID Law will not be in effect for the November election. Until the District Court rules, it is not known what kind of identification, if any, voters will need in November.

The League of Women Voters will monitor this situation carefully, and will make every effort to keep voters informed about changes to voter identification requirements.

Link to Court's Opinion