Let’s hear it for Texas!

Texas voter ID law blocked by federal judge

Just weeks before the mid-term elections a federal judge in Corpus Christi struck down on Thursday Texas’ contentious voter ID law, describing it as a “poll tax” and finding that it discriminated against minority voters.

Federal District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law violates the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act and barred the state from enforcing it in the coming November election.

“There has been a clear and disturbing pattern of discrimination in the name of combating voter fraud in Texas,” Ramos wrote in her opinion issued late Thursday.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office issued a statement shortly after the ruling was announced, promising to appeal the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The state of Texas will immediately appeal and will urge the Fifth Circuit to resolve this matter quickly to avoid voter confusion in the upcoming election,” the office said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws are constitutional so we are confident the Texas law will be upheld on appeal.”

The timing of the judge’s ruling could spare an estimated 13.6 million registered Texas voters from needing photo identification to cast a ballot as mandated by the law. Early voting is scheduled to begin Oct. 20.

Via The Houston Chronicle

♫ Old Mrs Leary left a lantern in her shed ♪

I’m the Deputy Democrat Registrar of Voters in my hometown, so voting is something of a serious issue to me. Needless to say, when Walt showed me this story, it simply made me shutter. Apparently in Harris County, TX, there was something of a small blaze that destroyed the county’s entire inventory of 10,000 electronic voting machines still burned.

Houston Fire Department spokesman Patrick Trahan said arson investigators were at the scene of the fire, but no cause has been determined.

The three-alarm blaze started about 4:15 a.m. at the football field-size warehouse the county uses to store its election equipment. Firefighters extinguished the flames about four hours later.

No injuries were reported.

The county’s voting machines, including eSlate equipment, were stored at the nearly 27,000-square foot facility, county officials said.

Early voting begins Oct. 18. Election Day is Nov. 2.

You can read more about this story here, or view the video after the jump.

Continue reading ♫ Old Mrs Leary left a lantern in her shed ♪

Make it feel like the first time

Courtesy of the League of First Time Voters (huh?) and music star Daughtry, here’s a take on the election using a song that makes me feel as old as John McCain.

Oh yeah…
And I approve this message.