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Texas Asks Supreme Court To Save Voter ID Law After Election

Erik Hersman

Texas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to restore its newly weakened voter ID law but not until after the November election.

Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the request Friday, two months after a federal appeals court ruled that the state's 2011 law discriminated against minorities and the poor. The U.S. Justice Department has argued that more than 600,000 registered voters lacked an acceptable ID under the law.

Texas was forced to soften those ID requirements for the upcoming election. But Paxton wants the Supreme Court to ultimately restore the full law.

“Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to preserving our democracy,” the Republican said in a statement. “Voter ID laws both prevent fraud and increase the public’s confidence in our elections. Texas enacted a common-sense voter ID law and I am confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately reinstate it.”

Elections experts say the Texas law was among the toughest voter ID measures in the nation. It required showing one of seven forms of photo identification, allowing concealed handgun licenses but not college student IDs.

As of April, Paxton’s office had spent more than $3.5 million defending the law, the Texas Tribunereports.

The Associated Press and Texas Tribune contributed to this report.