If Texas Republicans had their way, they would nullify the seminal Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Texas Republican Party released its official 2012 platform and the elections law is one of its major targets.
“We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized,” read the party’s platform, which was posted on its website.
The heart of the GOP’s censure is likely section 5 of the law, which requires certain states to obtain federal approval or “preclearance” for any changes to the election law or process.
Because Texas has a history of racial discrimination, it–and eight other states covered under the provision–have the "burden of showing that the proposed changes have neither the purpose nor the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color or membership in a language minority group."
However, some officials such as Republican Gov. Rick Perry have decried preclearance as an undue and unfair burden.
The state’s voter ID law, which was passed last year after years of contentious debate, fell victim to the VRA rule, after the Justice Department declared it “legally unenforceable.” The department found that the ID requirement disproportionately disenfranchized Hispanic citizens, many of whom did not own government-issued identification.
In addition to its disavowal of the Voting Rights Act, the state GOP platform also called for an end to affirmative action and opposed any form of reparation.
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