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by Sharon Rondeau

Texas passed a voter ID requirement law in March which the U.S. Department of Justice has challenged. Hearings are to begin on Monday in Washington, DC

(Jul. 6, 2012) — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX21), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a press release yesterday that the legal challenge of an election law in his state by the U.S. Department of Justice was done so with data provided to the court from a “big Democratic data warehouse.”

The company which provided the information to the DOJ which was used to justify the DOJ’s claims of discrimination, Catalist, boasts praise from a member of the NEA and openly states that it “serves the progressive community.”  One of the “co-chairs” of the organization, Patricia Bauman, “is active as a donor to Democratic candidates.”

“Though Catalist is technically a private, for-profit company, it is really an agent of the Democratic Party.  And Catalist’s involvement in the Department’s election law litigation against Texas creates a clear conflict of interest.  There is at least the appearance that, rather than election laws that protect Texans’ right to vote in a secure and fair election, Catalist might prefer that Texas’s election laws favor Democratic Party candidates,” Smith said in his press release.

The Texas law, passed in March 2011, requires presentation of photo identification prior to voting for individuals under 70 years of age and received considerable biased news coverage prior to its passage.  “Voter advocates” challenged the law, including “Voting for America,” in the case against Texas’s Secretary of State and the Galveston County tax assessor, Cheryl Johnson.  Project Vote, for which Obama once worked in Chicago, has also been involved in trying to repeal the law, and some believe that the voting rights of the “transient” should be protected.

Putative Attorney General Eric Holder, who was cited criminally and civilly for contempt of Congress last week, claims that the Texas law “would have had a disproportionate impact on Hispanic voters” and filed a lawsuit against it in March.  Holder believes that “All citizens should be automatically registered to vote” and his department said that Hispanics often do not possess a driver’s license or other type of photo identification.  The department also has objected to a South Carolina law which it claims would prevent blacks (Holder’s “people“) from voting.

House Republicans have stated that they will be suing Holder in the coming weeks in an attempt to obtain access to the documents associated with Fast & Furious which Holder would not release and Obama blocked by claiming executive privilege over them.

Holder has been accused by members of Congress of ignoring voter intimidation on the part of members of the New Black Panthers and acting politically in the past.  Earlier this year, Holder demanded internal communications from Texas lawmakers regarding the voter identification bill but has himself refused to turn over documents associated with Fast & Furious, a gunwalking program carried out without the knowledge or cooperation of the Mexican government which culminated in the murders of hundreds of that country’s citizens as well as at least one U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.

Gov. Rick Perry has said his state will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.  Some Texas Democrat legislators had argued that the requirement of the law “is going to keep legitimately eligible Texans from the polls.”
A search for information on when the case will be heard yielded numerous objections to the law published in mainstream media across the country which stated that Obama could lose the election if such laws are implemented.  The website mainjustice.com reports that hearings will commence on Monday, July 9.

A link in an article about the law which claims that the Texas Republican Party wants to repeal the 1965 Voting Rights Act leads to an error message, but the story is here.  That Act was intended to prevent literacy and history tests being administered to potential voters, specifically blacks in some sections of the South and Southwest.

One voter fraud research group states that “voter fraud is extraordinarily rare” (page 6) after mentioning the Texas law passed last year.

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