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The Texas voter ID law (SB14), passed in 2011 and presently under review by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., erects a substantial barrier to participation for hundreds of thousands of Texans, political science fellow Mark Jones writes in a recent op-ed. "The law would effectively disenfranchise a large number of citizens who lack the photo identification required by the law and are unable or unwilling to invest the time and money necessary to obtain the election identification certificate (EIC) offered by the state," he says.

Viewed in its most favorable light, SB14 is "an attempt by Republican leaders to satisfy a longstanding demand of GOP activists," Jones adds. At its worst, it is "a concerted effort to gain electoral advantage vis-ᅢᅠ-vis the Democratic Party through vote suppression."