As a possible precursor to additional legal fights over picture I.D. requirements for voting, a Pennsylvania state court has struck down that state’s photo I.D. requirements for voting. Central to the court’s decision was the factual finding that the so-called “free” I.D. available to the indigent had limited distribution.
Comparing the Texas and Pennsylvania laws, Texas is particularly vulnerable to this sort of factual determination. The extreme low number of free voter I.D.s issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety for the off-year November 2013 statewide constitutional amendment election highlights the weakness of the state’s position on this topic – given that a large number of voters lack sufficient i.d. (per the evidence in the statewide voter registration database of so-called “first-time I.D. voters”), a much larger number of voters should be requesting and receiving those I.D.s.