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Justice Department Blocks Texas Voter I.D. Law

The Justice Department has blocked a new law in Texas requiring voters to show a photo ID, saying that it disproportionately harms Hispanic residents.

The action is the second time in three months that the Obama administration has blocked a state voter ID law. In December, the Justice Department struck down South Carolina’s new law requiring photo identification at the polls, saying it discriminated against minority voters.

In the case of South Carolina, officials said the South Carolina law adversely affected African American voters. In Texas, the law, signed last year by Gov. Rick Perry (R), discriminates against Hispanics, the Justice Department said.

“Even using the data most favorable to the state, Hispanics disproportionately lack either a driver’s license or a personal identification card,” wrote Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, in a letter to Keith Ingram, director of elections for the Texas Secretary of State.

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