Early voting turnout in Texas’ top 15 counties slightly improved in the 2014 primary season–compared to similar 2010 and 2006 returns. Given State of Texas data, the new voter ID law currently under attack from the U.S. Department of Justice has not appeared to have negatively affected turnout at this point.
Compared to 2010, cumulative early voting totals for the most populous counties in the state show 6.8% turnout across party lines this year–compared to 2010’s 6.01 percent. Recent figures show a clear improvement in turnout compared to the 2006 cycle, having only 3.32% among the same 15 counties. Between the two election cycles, Texas passed and eventually enacted a photo voter identification law after two federal court rulings.
The 2014 Election is not the first state-wide test for the popular new election integrity mechanism. The 2013 Election yielded a total turnout of 8.55% compared to registered voters eligible to cast a ballot. The highly competitive Lieutenant Governor and U.S. Senate races could press the 2014 turnout rate to new records.
As Breitbart Texas reported in February, the State of Texas opted to enforce the voter ID requirement despite renewed attempts by the Holder Justice Department to block the law in federal court. More recently, the DOJ and its allied interveners in the lawsuit are working to force the State to disclose documents between legislators and concerned groups lobbying in support of the bill in 2011. Texas has asserted that such conversations between citizens and their representatives should be withheld due to legislative privilege.
Midterm election or no, Texas’ voter ID trial will face its first day in court in September.
To cast a regular ballot, voters must bring either a Department of Public Safety-issued photo ID, U.S. Citizenship Certificate, Passport or military ID to the polls.
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