Supreme Court Ruling on Texas Voter ID Law threatens access to the polls for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Washington DC – Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is deeply disappointed in the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing Texas to enforce its voter ID law in the upcoming election. The law requires voters to present government-issued photo identification like a Texas driver’s license, a gun license, military ID, or US passport, effectively disenfranchising over 600,000 registered voters – nearly 4.5% of the Texas’ registered voters.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) make up 3.4% of Texas’ voting age population. From 2000 to 2010 the AAPI citizen voting age population in Texas grew by 60%.

Comments Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIVote, “The Supreme Court’s ruling further aggravates efforts to bring more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the polls, many of whom are first time voters this November.”

Long time Texan and Board Member of APIAVote Mini Timmaraju stated, “This ruling only further discourages voter engagement in one of the fastest growing populations in Texas and will only add to the confusion of the average Asian American voter during this early vote period." Early voting in election began in Texas on Monday, October 20th.

In her dissent, which was joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg state that "racial discrimination in elections in Texas is no mere historical artifact. To the contrary, Texas has been found in violation of the Voting Rights Act in every redistricting cycle from and after 1970."