Texas Voting Restrictions
New restriction enacted in 2019: Cut back use of mobile early voting sites.
New restriction in place since 2016 election: Photo ID required if a voter has one, but an alternative will be available for those who present a non-photo ID from a preset list and execute an affidavit claiming to have certain, enumerated reasonable impediments to obtaining photo ID. Reasonable impediment alternative is more restrictive than the alternative in place in 2016.
Click here to see the types of ID required under Texas’s law.
New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID required if a voter has one, but an alternative will be available for those who have a reasonable impediment to obtaining ID.
Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Curbed voter registration drives.
Background: In 2012, a federal court blocked the 2011 photo ID law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The state then implemented the requirement after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Section 5 in 2013, and a photo ID was required to vote for the first time in a federal election in 2014.
In July 2016, the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the strict photo ID law discriminates against minority voters, and therefore cannot be enforced against those who lack ID. In August 2016, a federal court approved an agreement that will allow voters with an obstacle to obtaining photo ID to cast a regular ballot in November 2016 after showing one of a much larger number of IDs and signing a declaration. In June 2017, in response to the litigation, Texas enacted a new voter ID law that is currently in place.
A Republican-controlled legislature passed the restriction on voter registration drives and the strict photo ID law in 2011, and both were signed by a GOP governor.