AUSTIN, Texas — A report from a voting rights advocacy group shows that hundreds of Texas voters were delayed or nearly turned away during the 2016 presidential election because of confusion over the state’s voter ID laws.
More than 4,000 reports of voter issues, primarily in Harris and Dallas counties, were reviewed by the Texas Civil Rights Project’s Election Protection Coalition. Most related to polling place problems, voter registration status or voter ID requirements, The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2s9jyaC ) reported.
More than 300 voters reported being confused about voter identification requirements and getting conflicting information from poll workers. And more than half the reports detailed problems with polling locations, such as polling sites being changed or eliminated. Most of those reports came from predominantly black areas of Houston.
Hundreds of voters weren’t on voter rolls because of small discrepancies in their names or addresses. The report also found many voters waited more than an hour, a delay possibly caused by a lack of poll workers and inoperable machines.
The group’s report comes nearly a year after a federal appeals court first ruled that Texas’ 2011 voter ID law discriminated against minorities and the poor.
The law would have required all voters to present a government-issued ID. Supporters of the law argued that it was necessary to prevent voter fraud, but opponents argued that more than 600,000 Texas voters would’ve lacked proper ID under the law’s requirements.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com