It’s difficult to figure out a headline for this story, one that accurately describes just how bolloxed the Republicans have made voting in Texas.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Friday was the last day of early voting for Tuesday’s elections in Texas. Some local offices, and about 2,000 amendments to the Texas Constitution. Okay, a half-dozen amendments to the Constitution. Texas’s Constitution is the greatest patch-work legal document on Earth, perhaps in our galaxy, and we’ve got a bunch of amendments this time, too.
Texas’s Kommissar of State Prosecutions, Greg Abbott, took advantage of federal court decisions and imposed the clumsy Texas Jim Crow/Diego Cuervo voting laws for this election. Although eligibility for voting, including citizenship, is checked when voters register, the new law requires that every voter present a state-issued voter identification card with a photo, again at the polls.
The law was originally targeted by Republican legislators to stop African Americans and Hispanics from voting, with a bonus that it stops senior citizens who may not have valid drivers licenses.
A lot of other people are getting snagged, too. A state judge was required to vote provisionally. State Sen. Wendy Davis, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for next year’s gubernatorial race, had to file a conditional ballot — she is within striking distance of Kommissar Abbott in current polls (he’s running for the Republican nomination). About a third of white women in Texas don’t have photo identification that matches their voting registration, due to moving, marriage, divorce, etc.
And Friday, in Fort Worth . . . well, you can’t make this stuff up.
You cannot make this stuff up.
- Texas refused to issue a voter ID card to a non-driving, 91-year-old World War II veteran.
- Winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
- Former Member of the Texas House of Representatives.
- Former Mayor of Weatherford, Texas.
- Former Chairman of the League of Texas Municipalities.
- 34 years a Member of the U.S. Congress.
- Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and third in line of succession to the U.S. presidency, Jim Wright.
No one questioned who he was. He just can’t vote with the ID he has.
If Jim Wright can’t easily get an ID to vote, who can?
If any other veterans of World War II don’t have personal assistants from their Congressional retirement benefits, who will help them vote?
By Terry Evans and Anna M. Tinsley
firstname.lastname@example.org atinsley @star-telegram.com
FORT WORTH — Former House Speaker Jim Wright was denied a voter ID card Saturday at a Texas Department of Public Safety office.
“Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn’t give me an ID,” Wright said.
The legendary Texas political figure says that he has worked things out with DPS and that he will get a state-issued personal identification card in time for him to vote Tuesday in the state and local elections.
But after the difficulty he had this weekend getting a proper ID card, Wright, 90, expressed concern that such problems could deter others from voting and stifle turnout. After spending much of his life fighting to make it easier to vote, the Democratic Party icon said he is troubled by what he’s seeing happen under the state’s new voter ID law.
“I earnestly hope these unduly stringent requirements on voters won’t dramatically reduce the number of people who vote,” Wright told the Star-Telegram. “I think they will reduce the number to some extent.”
Wright and his assistant, Norma Ritchson, went to the DPS office on Woodway Drive to get a State of Texas Election Identification Certificate. Wright said he realized earlier in the week that the photo identifications he had — a Texas driver’s license that expired in 2010 and a TCU faculty ID — do not satisfy requirements of the voter ID law, enacted in 2011 by the Legislature. DPS officials concurred.
But Wright and Ritchson will return to the office Monday with a certified copy of Wright’s birth certificate, which the DPS employees assured them would be good enough for the Texas personal identification card, designed specifically for people who do not drive.
“It can be used for anything, not just voting,” Ritchson said.
Photo ID alone doesn’t work. Legal identification cards don’t work. It has to be the magic, let’s hope you ain’t got one, kind of ID.
- Middle name is often the problem, in Texas — Bud Kennedy in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- A guide to the Voter ID law in Texas (miamiherald.com)
- Texas’ Voter ID law gets first statewide test (wfaa.com)
- Texas Attorney General Almost Disenfranchised By His Own Voter ID Law (thinkprogress.org)
- Texas’ Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women (npr.org)
- Wendy Davis outsmarts voter ID law (msnbc.com)
- State Senator Leticia Van de Putte Also Forced to Sign Affidavit To Vote Under Photo Voter ID Law (burntorangereport.com)
- Greg Abbott Can Still Vote, Thanks to Wendy Davis (burntorangereport.com)
- Texas’ Voter ID law gets first… (fox10tv.com)