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):
A PHOTO ID IS NOT IN EFFECT FOR THIS ELECTIONHonestly, 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?
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.
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 YearsI do not know what happened to these items.
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
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.