San Antonio-area county sued for providing misleading voter ID information

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A lawsuit filed Friday afternoon by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) accuses Bexar County, Texas, which contains America's seventh-largest city, San Antonio, of not following a federal court order to provide accurate information on the state's voter ID laws to voters.

In previous elections, due to a discriminatory voter ID law, voters had to show a state-issued photo ID when voting. That ended when a federal judge struck down the voter ID law in August, ruling that it discriminated against black and Latino Texans. The judge ruled that Texans who did not have an ID and couldn't "reasonably obtain" one in time could bring a document such as a paycheck or utility bill.

A later ruling ordered the state to spend at least $2.5 million on material to educate voters on the new requirements, but MALDEF's lawsuit alleges that Bexar County officials haven't followed the order. Indeed, the San Antonio Current has reported that posters saying photo ID is required have been spotted around San Antonio polling places. As of the 2010 Census, San Antonio is about 63 percent Latino.


Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is appealing the judge's ruling to the Supreme Court, which has not decided whether it will take the case. Paxton, among other Texas officials, has claimed that voter fraud is rampant throughout the state. As noted by the Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey, a 2012 study of voter fraud instances found that just .000003% of the ballots cast in Texas from 2000-2011 were alleged to be fraudulent. Donald Trump has also tried to use Texas voter confusion to gin up his "the election is rigged" conspiracy theory.

Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.

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