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FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION March 26, 2012 CONTACT: Laura Rodriguez: (310) 956-2425- Donald Gatlin: (202) 821-7923 -


Texas law would disproportionately harm Latinos if approved SAN ANTONIO, TX Today, MALDEF filed legal papers opposing an attempt by the State of Texas to secure federal approval for its new Voter ID law. The intervention was filed on behalf of two Latino voters and two organizations that conduct voter registration and turnout campaigns in the Latino community: Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. The lawsuit by Texas seeks permission from the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to impose identification procedures that discriminate against Latinos in Texas. The U.S. Department of Justice blocked Texas Voter ID Law earlier this month on the grounds that the law disproportionately harms Latino voters. MALDEF has moved to intervene its clients in the case to defend the voting rights of Texas Latinos and to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Just as Latinos gained two new congressional districts in redistricting, the State of Texas is trying to restrict the franchise, stated Nina Perales, Vice President of Litigation at MALDEF and lead counsel in the intervention. The new Texas voter ID law imposes real hardship on Latino voters by restricting the documents that todays voters can use to prove their identity at the polls, continued Perales. According to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Texas is one of 16 states required to receive federal approval before changing voter laws, because of the States history of discriminating against minorities at the polls. This move comes on the heels of the recent Texas redistricting battle, in which MALDEF litigated successfully to secure two new congressional districts in which Latinos have the opportunity to elect their candidate of choice. MALDEF intends to ensure that Texas Latinos are able to realize that new power in November at the polls.
MALDEF: Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nations leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the law firm of the Latino community, MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: