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Photo identification is now required to vote in Texas - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Photo identification is now required to vote in Texas

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BEAUMONT -

With the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act, voting requirements passed by the 2011 Texas Legislature are automatically in effect.

That means photo identifications will now be required before anyone can vote in Texas.

Jefferson County voting officials say already 75% of voters in the county use their driver's licenses for identification, so they don't believe the new rule will be a hardship.

But one man disagrees, Anthony Guillory, a former union leader, who has spent his life fighting for the underdog fears this is another form of disenfranchising minority voters.

He said, "Everybody is not going to be able to get an ID, and they know that."

Guillory says it brings back bad memories of the poll tax, when he says African-Americans had to pay to vote.

But Jefferson County Voter Registrar Shane Howard disagrees.  He says he plans on reaching out to the community to inform them about the accessibility of free ID cards being made available by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The cards are called election identification certificates.

Howard said, "It's primarily to make sure, you have actual qualified registered voters voting."

People can start applying for the free cards on Wednesday at you local DPS office.

You must bring proof of your identity and proof of your U.S. citizenship.

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