Voter ID laws, troubled police departments and the 2018 election

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A federal judge has once again thrown out Texas' voter ID law which was meant to soften the ID requirements for voters.

On Wednesday, US District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos issued the order comparing the new law to a "poll Tax" on minorities. Alana Rocha with the Texas Tribune said this is the "latest in a six year battle since the state passed what's called the strictest voter ID law in the country because it only allows voters to show one of seven approved forms of identification."

However, the courts decided that law disproportionately disenfranchises minorities. In response, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 5 this spring which lessens the ID requirements but the judge said it wasn't good enough.

Attorney General Ken Paxton has already said he will appeal the decision. According to Rocha, this could lead to pre-clearance for the state meaning the Texas will need federal approval before passing election laws. Rocha says this could also cause some confusion at the polls.

Another big issue across the state, Texas' two biggest city police departments are in trouble. As the population in Dallas and Houston goes up, the number of officers is going down.

Among the reasons are troubled pension funds and low pay along with a nation-wide disinterest in becoming a police officer and many officers are able to get better jobs elsewhere. When asked what this means for those cities, Rocha pointed to delayed response times and solvable property crimes being ignored in Houston because of a lack of officers to solve them.

Finally, we took a look at the upcoming 2018 election. Wrapping up 34 days on the road, US Congressman Beto O'Rourke is in full campaign mode as he prepares to challenge Ted Cruz for his seat in the Senate.

The Democrat from El Paso has been holding town halls across the state trying to get name recognition. Compared to the Cruz campaign, he is a little less organized. However, O'Rourke is relying on technology to get exposure, streaming all of his town halls on Facebook Live.