Today is Election Day. Texas elections have been the focus of national attention following the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to enjoin Texas’ voter identification law while it waits to hear the case on its merits. Here are some resources that may be of interest to anyone interested in the legal history behind this case, or interested in election law generally as it will affect Houston today:
The law in question, Tex. S.B. 14, 82nd Leg., R.S. (2011), which amends the Texas Election Code to establish voter identification requirements, was challenged by the Department of Justice in Texas v. Holder. The Supreme Court declined to block the new law before hearing the case, leaving the new identification requirement in effect for today’s voting. This case follows last year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, where the Court held Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, and is only the latest development in the nearly 50-year history of the Voting Rights Act.
Following these developments, the Department of Justice has announced that it will be monitoring polling places around the country today; Harris County, Texas is one of the locations that will be monitored. Information about federal observers and election monitoring is available here.Harris County residents wishing to exercise their right to vote today may find information on ballots, polling places and additional voting resources on an informational website provided by the Harris County Clerk.