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Earlier this year the new Texas "Voter ID Law" was struck down by the DOJ.  That law was onerous.

The current guidlines are straightforward.   I have the time, interest, and energy to verify that I can get by with the least possible ID to vote. I would like Kossacks to weigh in on the guidelines as they read them, and provide any suggestions.

My goal is NOT to be a jerk, it is just to make sure things are working correctly.  I don't want make a scene, even if I do not get to vote (I can always return with other ID).

Details below the fold

The current guidelines that I can find are from The Dallas County Elections website, which appears to be official, even if it is a .org and not a .gov.  

It has the following "New Voter ID Regulations"  It is a PDF, I have summarized it below (I have not entered it verbatim):


To vote, all registered voters need their registration card or any one of the other approved ID as listed below:

* Driver's license or Texas Dept. of Public Safety ID, or similar documents from another state (even if expired).

* A form of ID that contains yourp htograph and establishes your identity.

*  Birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in court and establishes person's identity.

* US Citizenship papers.

* US passport.

* Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity  or

* A copy of current utility bill, bank statment, government check, paycheck, or government document tha tshows your name and address.

Honestly, I think I have every single form listed above (though I may have to search for a state issued birth certificate from Tennessee).  So should I plan on taking my  newly issued Voter ID with me?  Or last year's Social Security summary statement?  Any thoughts on how to best test the system?

I will plan on updating this after I vote this afternoon (3:00 CST).  

I went to vote today at around 2:00 PM.  When we got there we discovered that the actual ballot had several races that were not on the online site we checked.  We went home, found the correct sample ballot, and did our research.  I'm very glad we did.  We found a great website with lots of voter information (from the Dallas Morning News*  questionnaire they had sent out  (NOTE:  The voter information is based on street address, which ROCKS..they can drill down to everything exactly correctly)).   For Railroad Commissioner on the Republican Primary, one of the voter guide questions was, "what is your view of global warming".  Only ONE out of 5 thought there was ANY credence.  For judges it asked them who their favorite judge was.  Scalia was there, but also Thomas!!  But, also Marshall.  So even voting in the Republican Primary, we did our best to find sane choices.

One of the sample ballots we saw had three propositions on it that  I didn't see on my ballot:

Non-Binding Referendum 1 - In-State Tuition for Residences of Three Years
Any graduate of a Texas high school, who has lived in the state for at least three years and lived here continuously for the last year, should be eligible for in-state tuition at state supported colleges and universities and given the opportunity to earn legal status through a higher education or military service.

Non-Binding Referendum 2 - Affordable Tuition Fees
Because a college education is increasingly necessary for jobs that allow our citizens to achieve middle class lifestyles and become the entrepreneurs who create the jobs that our economy relies on, we call on the Texas Legislature to fund colleges and universities such that tuition and fees can be affordable to all Texans.

Non-Binding Referendum 3 - Legalize Casino Gambling
Should the Texas Legislature allow the people of Texas to vote to legalize casino gambling with all funds generated being used only for education

I do not know what happened to these items.

On to the voter ID test.  First off, there were only 6 poll workers total -- 2 on the Democratic side, 3 on the Republican side, plus the judge.  I knew the judge personally -- she was on my Census crew in 2010.  So no sneaky test here.  Still, she wasn't there when we returned to vote, and so I casually flipped a bank statement down as an ID.  The clerk verified my last name, and that I didn't have my voter ID, and then found my name in the book and I signed in.  There was absolutely no issue.

So I think I may have made a mountain out of a molehill.  For which I am grateful.    All the poll workers were polite, friendly, and mostly bored.  In my rush to see voter supression, I seem to have forgotten that these are literally  my neighbors, and were proud to be taking part in Democracy, just like me. They were helpful in figuring out why my online ballot didn't match the actual ballot, though the final answer was, "We don't know why that website is incorrect, but the Dallas County Website is good."  And they were correct.  My exact ballot appeared there correctly.

Originally posted to lostboyjim on Tue May 29, 2012 at 06:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Take your registration card and a bill. (3+ / 0-)

    Keep your photo ID in abeyance in case they are dicks, though.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue May 29, 2012 at 06:50:39 AM PDT

    •  They WILL be dicks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I voted in the municipal election last year in Tx and I was definitely subject to undue pressure and forced to produce three types of id (I always have my voter reg card in my purse too).  This was because I am young and female and dressed in jeans and a t shirt (since I did not work that day)  voting in a precinct with mostly old, rich, men in suits.  I looked like the Dem demographic in an area where  they expected the GOP demographic.  There are laws and then there are poll workers with an agenda.   Take enough id with you to prevent them from violating your right to vote.

      I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

      by Delilah on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:11:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You only need one. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The card is the best choice as far as the Election Clerks are concerned.

      I just returned from being a Judge.

  •  if this is the first time (3+ / 0-)

    you've voted since registering you will need to show ID. This is a simple fraud protection put in place since Texas has mail in registration, at some point you need to establish your identity to a person. After that you will need either your voter registration card or other approved ID listed above.

    "When you're swerving on life's highway you're running someone off the road." Robert Earl Keen

    by Wordsinthewind on Tue May 29, 2012 at 06:55:38 AM PDT

  •  Republished to TexKos to get more visibility (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wordsinthewind, nomandates

    In early voting, I only had to show the voter card that I'd been send in the mail and my driver's license. I have voted in previous elections, and wasn't asked to provide anything more.

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:05:19 AM PDT

    •  See, but that is TOO MUCH (3+ / 0-)

      According to the rules above, ONLY the voter ID is required.  If they asked for your License, they are asking for too much ID.  This is what I am trying to test!

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:10:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's easy for you to show voter ID.  For all the Texans without a driver's license, how do they vote if just their voter ID card isn't accepted?  According to the guildelines above, ONLY the voter ID card is required....

        Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

        by lostboyjim on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:12:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  if you do (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, nomandates, elmo

        please keep in mind that the people working the elections are volunteers (although they do get paid a stipend) and have minimal training for what is a lot of complex law. They have nothing to do with making or enforcing those laws, they simply are trying to comply with the instructions they've been given by their County Clerk. Since we have 254 of them in Texas you're going to see a wide variety of personalities. As a person responsible for recruiting these fine people I really don't want anyone being unpleasant with them no matter how important your cause. Take it up with your state rep or senator instead.

        "When you're swerving on life's highway you're running someone off the road." Robert Earl Keen

        by Wordsinthewind on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:16:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Forgive me, but I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phonegery, Delilah

          The notice is required to be posted right there in the voting area.  It is very clear what is allowed as an ID.  How much training to volunteers receive?  I would think, "acceptable ID to vote" would be right there at the top of things to learn.  

          As I said in the Diary, I am not wanting to make a scene, and I have no intention of being "unpleasant".  But if people are being denied a ballot because the volunteer weren't properly trained by the County Clerk, that is a huge issue.   It really isn't my rep's issue.  Training should be done by the Clerk, not my state senator.  

          And as far as causes go, voting is kinda right there at the top.

          Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

          by lostboyjim on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:24:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you may only argue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nomandates, cassandracarolina

            your right to a ballot, not anyone else's. Seriously, the polls are not the place for politicking as it will create a hostile environment for those seeking only to vote in peace. There are more laws on the books covering behavior at the polls than eligiblity anyway.

            "When you're swerving on life's highway you're running someone off the road." Robert Earl Keen

            by Wordsinthewind on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:42:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Accepted (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nomandates, Wordsinthewind

              I will take your words to heart, witw.  I am serious when I say I do not want to cause any type of scene.  My only goal is to see if they are following the current law, not the one overturned by the DOJ.

              Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

              by lostboyjim on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:56:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                now take that energy to your local rep's Town Hall and ask those questions there. That is who voted for that terrible voter ID law and refused to take up any consideration of how people are supposed to get those IDs.

                "When you're swerving on life's highway you're running someone off the road." Robert Earl Keen

                by Wordsinthewind on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:25:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  That may be true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But let me tell you that when I was subject to undue pressure (Iwould call it voter suppression) when I voted in the municipal election last year (a fairly contested one with a gay candidate), I  could not help but conclude that there was an agenda.  I was the ONLY person forced to produce multiple forms of id while no one in line went through the same, and my name was plainly on the voter rolls.   Everyone else in line received a smile and a nice greeting, I received rolling eyes and scowls from multiple workers.  And that was before they demanded multiple ids and then had the audacity to write my name on a list with two other females' names.  The only diff between me and the other people in line was that I was young, female, dressed casually because I did not work that day, in a line of old white rich men in suits.  You connect the dots.

          I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

          by Delilah on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:17:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's unfortunate (0+ / 0-)

            and you should bring it to the attention of your County Clerk. That is their job-to see that elections are fair and comply with the law. Our Clerk in my county is great, she is fair, works very hard to educate the volunteers and allocates deputies from her office to deal with questions on the spot. She makes herself available to those deputies while the polls are open so that she may personally deal with anything they can't. We have open and fair elections but I realize that we are only 1 of 254. It's worth a polite mention, especially starting from the position that you want to be helpful and improve the next election not merely complain about ill treatment. I wish I'd never been treated rudely or disrepectfully when I was young just because I was young but I wish more that it were better today. Seems folks haven't learned much in the last half century.

            "When you're swerving on life's highway you're running someone off the road." Robert Earl Keen

            by Wordsinthewind on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:38:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just voted... (0+ / 0-)

              As I posted in another diary, it was a better process than the municipal election in Houston when I was subject to attempted voter suppression.  This time, I was dressed in my suit (not like a young hipster) since i went during my lunch break from work.  Things went smoothly since there was a separate area for Dems versus Repubs although I had to search for the Dem section. I was also amused by the fact that   the Repubs this time assumed I belonged to them ... but I made it clear they were not my peeps.  Glad I got to cast another ballot for President Obama, along with my friend, Lane Lewis, who is running for Chair of the Harris Co Dems.  I will also give a shout out to Judge Kirkland.  

              I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

              by Delilah on Tue May 29, 2012 at 01:06:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I worked as a Democratic election judge (7+ / 0-)

    and there is a surprisingly large amount of detail to learn as an election judge. One is taught to accept the items listed but there is so much to remember that if one is new to working as election judge, one can lose track of exactly what qualifies as "evidence".

    However, the county where one serves provides the judge with documents that detail the entire election process including the list of eligible items to prove who you are. They have that booklet at hand - they need it to run the election and follow it carefully.
    They also have, as you know, the voter list alphabetically listed, on which your name will be listed since you have a voter registration.
    The clerks who ask you to sign in may be very experienced in which case they'll know this list or they will stumble when you show an electric bill or some such and they will ask the judge for assistance. Depending on the judge's experience or memory they may be stumped for a moment if you show your electric bill or a gov doc sent to you.
    At that point they should refer to the booklet provided by the county that will list eleible docs which are the ones you list above.
    If you don't want a hassle use your voter reg card.
    If you are interested in testing the system you could pull show one of the other choices and take it from there. Keep calm and let things play out. Most judges are not horses asses but a few are. Ask to see the booklet they use if necessary and point out that you have what is required and if necessary keep showing an additional qualifying doc.

    You just don't want to be obvious that you're testing the system because it's pretty demanding, IMO to be a judge or election worker and they are under stress and you would not want them to think that you don't trust them..........
    good luck!!

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:11:47 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the advice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, eve

      As I said above, and let me stress again, it is not my intention to be a dick.  I just want to make sure they are not requiring more than legally necessary to vote.  

      As a side note, let me ask:  If they start to turn me away and then I (politely) point out their error, and they fix it, then all is well and good with me.  But what about the NEXT person in line, who isn't as patient or knowledgable about the system?  That's what I'm trying to discover -- are people who are ignorant of the current law being turned away by Judges are are also ignorant of the current law?

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:27:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, first thanks for (5+ / 0-)

        what you are doing.
        I too am worried about this.
        I was not a good judge - I was not authoritarian and I always tried to do what was necessary to help a voter to succeed within the rules.
        A young woman from Louisiana showed up to a primary where I was the alternate Democratic judge in the Democratic primary.
        The young woman was at the wrong election area and the authoritarian Democratic election judge did not help her very much. She left crying that she would not vote again. She happened to be a minority person who had come to Houston from Louisiana and she was saying she never should have left Louisiana. I chased after her and put my arm around her and told her how important it was that she vote and that we find out what was going on. She came back in and I found out where the correct voting place was for her and walked her outside and talked with her. The correct voting place, not surprisingly was near where she lived and I believe she was at that point heading there to vote.
        (I cried with her- this was 2008 and the Democratic primary was very emotional and important).
        Then I went back inside to face my duties as election judge.

        Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

        by eve on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:58:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is important for the Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to educate voters in "stand your ground" wrt not letting yourself get pushed around.

        It's amazing what happened in W Palm Beach Florida where so many people were afraid to ask about how to vote on the butterfly ballot.
        I hope the whole story of that comes out some day.
        I cannot fathom how something like that can happen without some oversight to ruin an election.

        Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

        by eve on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:00:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was also a judge. (0+ / 0-)

          The only issue which confused me, and didn't come up was the two ID classes. I believe those who have ID needed marked in the poll book need to meet a higher ID level than the usual voter.

          Election Judge's Handbook:

          The voter must present their voter registration certificate and another acceptable form of identification before the voter may be accepted for voting. Acceptable forms of identification are listed on page 11. [The list above]
          I hadn't read that recently and I don't think we required the two voters we had with ID listed to also have their certificate.

          I imagine the training covered it, but I don't think either judge enforced it.

          •  Well, the posted page clearly said ONE ID. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            They marked on my signin that I didn't have my ID, but only a single ID was required.  (and my bank statement worked).

            Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

            by lostboyjim on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:01:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Was your name marked with an ID notation? (0+ / 0-)

              There is a segment of the electorate who have never voted in the county which get a special ID notation.

              They are required to produce the card from the voter registrar as well as a second item from the list.

              I wasn't the clerk and am not sure that my clerk required the two people we had which had the ID notation to have the card.

              It was my fault for not being aware of that rule and not assuring that the clerk followed it.

      •  What you might want to volunteer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nomandates, eve

        for instead is to become a poll watcher. Contact your precinct chair for more information.

        Poll watchers can help identify recurring problems in a particular precinct on election day so the underlying problem can be addressed.

  •  I plan to show them (5+ / 0-)

    only my voter registration card. I'll have my driver's license in my wallet, of course, since that's where it lives. But hopefully they'll know the rules at my precinct.

    You are reading my signature line. #hashtag

    by cardinal on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:14:51 AM PDT

  •  also (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim, nomandates, phonegery

    there may be election lawyers monitoring the election.

    If the judge won't let you vote demand that they or you talk to the election headquarters of the county and explain what's going on and ask for clarification.
    If you still have a problem,  have the phone number of the Democratic Party - it's an 800 number, I think that you can call or maybe a local number and use it  to ask for guidance.

    Things may be different in different parts of Texas but what I've written is based on my experience in Harris County, which runs elections pretty well I think. (even though it is Republican run right now - although the city of Houston as you may know has a Democratic mayor)

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:18:21 AM PDT

  •  I voted early on Friday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, Delilah

    and just gave them my voter registration card and jokingly reminded them not to stamp me as a Republican ;-) I'm in a district where Republican voters outnumber Democratic voters 2 to 1, and it seems as though I was only the 5th Democrat to sign in on that particular sheet on that day.

    They were very pleasant and thanked me for voting when they sent me to the booth and then again when I was leaving. My point here is that you probably shouldn't expect any trouble when voting in the primary.

    Having said that, I had moved to my current precinct in late 2007 and have voted here before, and it sounds as though you have recently moved. In that event, I would bring one of the additional items listed.

    Finally, on the back of our voter registration cards, they provide the SOS web address where folks can find answers to questions regarding voting:

    I'll check back later to read your update. Happy voting!

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:26:09 AM PDT

  •  Already voted (3+ / 0-)

    I was not asked for any ID, I merely presented my Voter Registration Card and attested that I still lived at the listed Austin address.  I was somewhat surprised that I did not recognize anyone at my voting place but workers were relatively cheerful and pleasant.  
    The waiting line to vote was nonexistent when I arrived but all of the 8 or 9 machines were being used, it appeared to be a 'constant trickle' of voters arriving.

    I was unable to judge how many voters there were studying Republican primary tickets vs. Democratic.

    •  I'm voting at lunch time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is a heavily republican area, probably 3-1.  They have a separate location if you want to vote in the Dem primary.  (Dem primary at a church, GOP at local town hall) I'm going there with just my registration card, and my drivers license in my wallet.  We'll see how it goes.

      "Some people call me Maurice, cause' I speak of the pompetous of love..."

      by cgvjelly on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:15:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Voter Registration Card (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, TDDVandy, JayRaye

    Was all I needed.

    Voted at an early voting location that I had not used before either.  No problems, poll workers were friendly and quick.

    •  Same here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Though in the school board election a few weeks back, I hadn't gotten my voter registration card yet so I had to use my driver's license.

      28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:11:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  same here (0+ / 0-)

      voter registration card was enuf

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: A project to honor the men, women, and children who lost their lives in freedom's cause.

      by JayRaye on Tue May 29, 2012 at 05:56:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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