Holder Says Texas' Voter ID Law is Discriminatory

It was like a hero being welcomed back.  That was the type of reception US Attorney General Eric Holder received at the NAACP National convention.

"Houston's feeling a little bit like home today," said Holder to a crowd at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Quite a different greeting Mr. Holder has received on Capitol Hill.  He recently became the first sitting US Attorney General to be held in contempt by Congress related to the Fast and Furious.

Holder's appearance is timely in Texas.  It comes only a day after the state took on the justice department before a federal three-judge panel.

Texas is defending its Voter ID law, requiring photo identification at the polls.  It was back in March when the justice department blocked that law claiming it violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Holder says, "Let me be clear we will not allow political pretext to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right."

The Texas Voter ID law rejects certain forms of identifications while favoring others.  Holder says it's a clear way of keeping minorities away from the polls.

"Listen to this, now listen to this.  Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be acceptable forms of photo ID but student Ids would not," says Holder.

Those attending the convention like Trevor Harvey from Florida say Texas is using the gun license as a slick way of suppressing the minority vote.

Harvey says, "Obviously the large population that has that are White constituents and minorities don't."

We decided to pull the Texas gun permit numbers to see the racial makeup:

-- 9,766 people in 2011 who received gun permits were African American
-- 124,313 were White
-- 96,772 were White males.

Jared Woodfill is with the Harris County Republican Party.  He says the idea that Republicans are trying to suppress the minority vote is ridiculous.

Woodfill says, "It's really typical of the Obama Administration.  Here you have their justice department saying we don't want what you're giving us out of Texas."

Woodfill says what's coming out of Texas is the same type of voter ID law used and upheld in other states.  He says ID protects the integrity of the election process.

"There's a group of people who are trying to create a class warfare based on a piece of legislation that 75 percent of all Texans want," said Woodfill.

The Republican Party Chairman says Texas law is similar to the rules already on the books in Indiana.  Wooddill added the new voter ID law provides free identification for those who can't afford one.

Read more at myfoxhouston.com

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