Fix Sought for Texas Voter ID Law Before Fall Elections

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AUSTIN — The Obama administration and several civil rights groups are urging a federal appeals court to fast-track the process of temporarily fixing Texas’ voter ID law in time for the Nov. 3 elections.

In court filings Thursday, the Justice Department and civil rights groups asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow a lower court to immediately start working on an interim remedy to the law passed in 2011 by the state’s Republican-led Legislature.

A three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit ruled in part earlier this month that Texas’ strict voter ID measure violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The 5th Circuit bounced a portion of the case back to a federal court in Corpus Christi and instructed it to correct the law ahead of the upcoming elections while the rest of the case works through the courts. The 5th Circuit noted the lower court should craft a remedy that would “avoid election eve uncertainties and emergencies.”

However, the 5th Circuit is set to retain jurisdiction of the case until Sept. 28.

The Justice Department and the civil rights groups argue that timeline might not allow for an interim solution to be put in place across the state for early voting, which starts Oct. 19. They’ve asked the 5th Circuit to allow the federal court in Corpus Christi to come up with a fix earlier.

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