Wayne Slater is the Senior Political Writer for the Dallas Morning News. He has a short, but very important straight news account of his attempt to vote at his polling place in Texas, using his (lawful) utility bill as his form of ID.
Like I said, it is straight news, but it is chilling. And this is the kind of professional journalism that could save this country if it became once again the standard for professional reporting in the United States. It is a testament to the power and importance of "Freedom of the Press".
See the story under the orange croissant:
The story is entitled, "Voter ID is not the law in Texas. But law, schmaw! Demand it anyway."
Slater tells of going to vote early at his polling place in Williamson County, which as he puts it is "a Republican bastion north of Austin."
I showed up to early-vote this weekend with one of several legally sanctioned forms of identification — my local utility bill. That’s when the trouble started.Slater's trouble took the form of one polling place supervisor named, Peggy. I will assume that Peggy is just one of your typical civic minded, law abiding, Constitution loving, Republicans who just happens to violate the law and the constitution any time it suits her. I'll let Slater tell it just as it happened.
I showed the superviser, whose nametag said Peggy, my utility bill from the city of Georgetown bearing my name and address. Peggy looked over her glasses at me with disapproval.Now surely that is the end of it, wouldn't you think? Well you aren't giving Peggy, and her fellow Constitution loving GOPer's enough credit. You see, even though the Utility Bill is acceptable ID, it still has to be determined that Slater is a registered voter who is Constitutionally entitled to vote in this election. And who is responsible to determine that? Peggy.
Peggy: “Do you have a drivers license?”
Me: “This is what I’m giving you for identification.”
Peggy: “We prefer a voter-registration card or a drivers license. There’s a list of identifications starting with registration card, driver’s license, picture ID — we prefer to go in that order.”
Me: “Does that mean, Peggy, that I can’t vote with this.”
At that point, Peggy got up, turned around and began leafing through a booket with the state law. Another superviser scurried over. Peggy said I wasn’t producing a photo-ID, He looked quickly at my utility bill and said, “That looks fine.”
Peggy: “It has to be a current utility bill.”
He looked over the bill. It was current. “This looks fine,” he said.
Peggy then punched my name in the computer and announced that I’m not a registered voter. I have a current registration card so I know I’m registered. The second superviser came back and looked over the screen. Peggy had mistyped my name. He told her to correct it. She did. I voted.Wayne Slater has 20 plus years covering politics at the state and national level for a major daily newspaper in Dallas, Texas. As he tacitly acknowledges, he is a middle-aged white man who is totally confident of his knowledge of the law and his position in society. But he does ask the question of how many Peggy's are out there and what are they doing and saying to the poor, the elderly, the recently naturalized, and the youthful citizens who are trying to exercise their right to vote?
Read the story yourself at