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AM Update: Voter ID Trial Wraps Up, New APD Officers, Perry to Support Romney in Nevada

Ben Philpott for KUT News
Gov. Rick Perry will travel to Nevada tonight in support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Voter ID Trial Continues

Closing arguments are set to begin today in the Texas Voter ID trialin Washington, D.C.

The law would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls.

A three-judge panel will decide whether the Texas law violates the Voting Rights Act by making it harder for minorities to cast a ballot. The U.S. Department of Justice argues that it does.

But lawyers for the state say the law wouldn’t disenfranchise minority voters. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott hopes the judges will agree and that the law will be in place in time for the November election.

A decision could come later this month.

APD Graduates New Officers

Fifteen new officers will join the Austin Police Department this evening.

The graduates of the 121st Cadet Class completed the 32-week training program that included instruction on legal issues, driving and physical fitness. APD training totals more than 1,200 hours.

The new officers join APD forces one week after a study said APD is short-staffed and “struggling somewhat” to fulfill its service. The study said the department needed to add 250 officers and staff by 2017.

Deputy city manager Michael McDonald will speak at tonight's graduation ceremony. Police chief Art Acevedo will administer the Oath of Office to the class.

The graduation takes place at 7 p.m. at Austin Cornerstone Church.

Perry Makes First Trip to Support Romney

Gov. Rick Perry will travel to Nevada today on his first campaign trip supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

USA today reports Perry will visit Elko, Nev. to help open a Romney field office there. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev. and several local officials will join Perry at the event, but Romney is not expected to attend.

Perry dropped out of the presidential campaign in January and initially backed Newt Gingrich until he left the race as well. Despite past attacks against the former Massachusetts governor, Perry promised to support the Romney campaign.

Nevada is a key state taken by Obama in the 2008 presidential elections.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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