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A few days ago on KOS someone posted a link to the story of a reporter testing the current Texas ID law.  Even though his ID was valid (he used a current utility bill), he was hassled by the clerk.  He eventually got to vote, but only after the supervisor interveined.

So the system was tested, and good triumphed in the end.

But I am just stunned by the reponse to the article.

More below the sideways Ss.

The reporter tells his story:

AUSTIN — Texas voters are not required to show a photo ID to cast their ballot. But that’s not stopping some poll workers from asking that they show one anyway — and making it difficult if they don’t.

Case in point: Williamson County, a Republican bastion north of Austin. I showed up to vote this weekend with one of several legally sanctioned forms of identification — my city utility bill. That’s when the trouble started.
...
...
 I showed the supervisor, Peggy, my utility bill from the city of Georgetown bearing my name and address. Peggy looked over her glasses at me with disapproval.

Peggy: “Do you have a driver’s license?”
Me: “This is what I’m giving you for identification.”

eventually:
At that point, she got up, turned around and began leafing through a booklet with the state law. Another supervisor scurried over. Peggy said I wasn’t producing a photo ID. He looked quickly at my utility bill and said, “That looks fine.”
The article goes on a little, but that's the heart of it.  I used a valid (non-photo) id, and the poll worker disapproved of it, so she gave him the run-around until a supervisor interveined.   Below the article people can post responses.  There aren't that many, and I have tried to reply to just about every one that is against the reporter.  The negative comments are of this strain:
You stated that you have a current voter registration card. Why didn't you simply show that? That would have saved you and everyone else a lot of grief. Oh wait; then you would not have had an overly dramatic article to write.
or
yeah he was following the law, but why be difficult about it. this is what I find frustrating about journalists they can be such contrarians. when Mr. Slater travels what does he present to TSA? what does he present when cashing a check or buying drugs at the pharmacy
They totally ignore the problem...that the poor or the elderly may NOT have a driver's license.  The reporter is testing the system...exactly something a reporter should do!  This type of blindness..the assumption that everyone has a driver's license, or a passport, simply boggles my mind.  Can't they see that everyone isn't just like them, and that others may not have the same luxuries they do?   This blindness, this assumption that everyone is in the middle class, just irritates the hell out of me.

For reference, the Texas Secretary of State clearly list all valid ID:

•a driver's license or personal identification card issued to the person by the Department of Public Safety or a similar document issued to the person by an agency of another state, regardless of whether the license or card has expired;
•a form of identification containing the person's photograph that establishes the person's identity;
•a birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person's identity;
•United States citizenship papers issued to the person;
•a United States passport issued to the person;
•official mail addressed to the person by name from a governmental entity;
•a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter; or
•any other form of identification prescribed by the Secretary of State.
I know where I voted in Dallas there were signs posted listing all valid IDs, and when I used a current bank statement the poll worker didn't blink.   Personally I am a huge defender of poll workers.  They volunteer for hours at a time, for free, and usually are friendly and kind and are just pround to be a drop of oil in the gears of democracy.  To not read the posted signs, or to have created in your own mind a "preferred" list of IDs that you demand is, among other things, contrary to the law.  For readers to chime in, supporting this idea of "preferred ID", just blows my mind.  

If anyone wants to pop over and write a comment, feel free.  I'm sure Mr. Slater could use the support.

Originally posted to lostboyjim on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and Houston Area Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republished to TexKos (10+ / 0-)

    I brought my voter ID card with me on day 1 of early voting and was asked if I had a driver's license as that "would be the easiest". I didn't make an issue out of it, but it certainly seemed troubling.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:12:32 AM PDT

    •  "would be easiest" isn't really true (8+ / 0-)

      Poll workers have a computer screen where they enter you ID, OR your address.  Either way you pop up immediately.  There is no "easiest" ID, there's just prejudice for picture ID.

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:14:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, BlackSheep1, nomandates

        and every time that the poll worker reinforces this erroneous notion, the more people are being put in the position of having to simply capitulate or putting up a stink.

        I was proud to vote in the first hour on day one, but this left a bad taste in my mouth. Is that the intent?

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My husband presented his passport because our (0+ / 0-)

        county never sent us our registration cards. The first clerk tried to insist that he give her his driver's license and when he stated he was giving her a valid US passport and why wasn't she accepting that the election judge hurried over, took the passport out of her hand, said everything looked great and quickly facilitated his voting.

        When I gave my passport at an earlier time/same polling place she asked if I had a driver's license because it made it easier for her because she could just scan it.  I just said "Sorry this is what I'm giving you." and she went on with it.

        This is so not Kansas anymore!

        by mkoz on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:36:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I just early voted this morning (7+ / 0-)

      Everyone I saw in line was presenting their Voter ID card.  No one was asked for any other ID to supplement that.

      There was a larger proportion of women and minorities in line with me.  That's encouraging, but then, this was Dallas County.  It will of course be totally different in suburban and rural areas.

      "Safety and security are the result of collective consensus. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear." - Nelson Mandela. Donate to TREE Climbers

      by TX Freethinker on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:38:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I brought four blue Texans to early voting. (6+ / 0-)

      We only used our voter registration certificate and did not have any issue whatsoever.  No one asked for any other ID.  In Williamson county, same as the original story.  We do not look like Republicans, we are obviously DFH's.  I was anticipating a hassle but it did not materialize.  

      I did read one comment from the Dallas news site where a person was asked for ID after showing the voter registration card.  I would have had a lot of fun with that but it did not happen.  

      You can't find the right road when the streets are paved. - Bob Marley

      by teknohed on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:47:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's just harassment. We need: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, nomandates

      1. To slam the voter id laws back in their effing faces.
      2. To punish the gop in the courts, and hang the      taxpayers' bill for all the litigation on their foreheads.
      3. Permanently reform the voting process across the U. S so that the gop can't steal another election.
      4. Wherever voter I.D. laws are upheld, make sure that every Democrat has one and is registered to vote and gets to vote without harassment.
      5. Eviscera....Cause the gop to beat itself to death and crack up into bitter minor factions with no influence on national politics for the next 20 years.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:59:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The card is the easiest item to use. (4+ / 0-)

      If they had the card scanner it is almost automatic. Even without the scanner system, the VUID card has everything the election worker needs to fill out the forms.

      If they thought that a drivers licence was the best way to qualify a voter, they don't understand the system.

      I, for one, have no problem being led by a 3500 year old Pharaoh who was trained by space aliens on a distant star.

      by Tomtech on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:29:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I took my registration card to early voting (4+ / 0-)

      and got called up to a shorter line even tho I wasn't in my home precinct.

      That's a good poll-worker!!!!

      Yeah, I had my driver's license. I usually vote on that. But you know what? They can look me up easier with the registration card. How about that?

      No photo needed, just "You still at this address?"

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Poll workers have been harassing people (9+ / 0-)

    all over for years. In 2010 in Florida, a woman working the polls tried  to tell my mom that the name she signed wasn't actually hers, because "the signatures didn't match". Now my mother, very respected VP at an insurance company, is a very nice and kind lady. But she does NOT like to be messed with. After 30 seconds of arguing, my mom threatened to call the police to have the poll worker arrested for denying voters and for harassment. Once my mom threatened with a call to police, she was allowed to vote without a hassle. When push comes to shove, we just need to threaten these people who are trying to prevent people from voting. If someone says you are not allowed to vote, call the police and let them handle things. These poll workers are illegally operating these stations and need to be dealt with.

    Follow me on Twitter! @guileofthegods

    by Guile Of The Gods on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:13:27 AM PDT

  •  Poll workers don't actually volunteer (8+ / 0-)

    They're paid a small stipend.

    I suspect the political orientation of particular poll workers has a lot to do with how picky they are about I.D.

    I remember voting early one time when my daughter was little and an elderly poll worker had a fit about me letting my daughter push the buttons on the touch screen voting machine; she was the only one who ever spied on me while voting, or raised such a silly objection.

    •  wow - I would think the opposite! (6+ / 0-)

      I clearly remember my parents taking me into the voting booth to pull the level when I was a child.  It helped instill a sense of how important it is to vote!  I would think poll workers would cheer such an action, not complain about it!

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:23:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I was pollworker in the last cycle, (5+ / 0-)

        a young man with an Eastern European accent proudly pulled out his voter ID and took his ballot, telling us that it was his first vote as a citizen. A couple of family members followed him and pulled out their cameras to commemorate the occasion.  Well, technically the rule is no photographing in the polling place (this could violate the integrity of the secret ballot), so we pollworkers started clucking a bit ... but we all (R's and D's alike) managed to look the other way just long enough for them to do the deed before we cited the rule and shooed them out.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:43:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A colleague of mine here in Austin (6+ / 0-)

    was asked to provide ID the other day. The poll worker was giving her a hard time when her husband reminded the worker that the law was struck down and NO ID IS REQUIRED whatsoever. The poll worker "guessed that was ok" then proceeded to turn away the next voter with no ID. And this was in a Republican, white area.

    On the other hand, I voted in my very brown, very Democratic area with TONS of undocumented immigrants and no one was bothering.

    I think it has more to do with local elections than the national one, at least now. Texas is fucked.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:29:18 AM PDT

  •  NM has no ID law to speak of (4+ / 0-)

    You say who you are and they look you up.  However most people DO pull out ID to facilitate the looking up of the name, or maybe to create a political point.  When it's my turn (and some years I sit on the pollworker side of the table) I always struggle with what to do.  Do I pull out ID, to make the process fast and convenient, or do I abstain, to create a political point (and to offer some social support to folks who might not have a photo id)?  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:40:14 AM PDT

  •  I use the minimum ID (4+ / 0-)

    I try not to be a dick, but I want the poll worker to be used to seeing minimum ID, so the next, less politically aware, voter isn't intimidated into not voting by a under-educated poll worker.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:50:08 AM PDT

  •  I will re-post my post from yesterday: (4+ / 0-)

    Only reason for ID, as explained by my Dallas County Elections Adminstrator (appointed by the Dem.-majority County Commissioners Court), when she personally conducted the election judge training two weekends ago, is for a relatively small number of people who have been registered and remain active and on the rolls, but did not originally provide a year of birth when they registered.  It may not have been required in the past, but now is.  So, those voters are flagged in the Dallas County system by having their age shown as "100" in the register and on their voter cards, and the poll workers are supposed to ask for ID to verify the voter's year of birth.

    No other instance of photo ID required, and several other forms are acceptable (mainly to verify address as matched in register).
    _______
    All that said, the voter registration card is simplest, and un-questioned, because it has all the info. the poll worker needs: Voter ID no. which shows you are registered, current address, stamped if you have already voted (avoiding multiple voting, if that were tried).  All other identification is to verify that you are the person in the registered voter list, and currently live at the listed address.  NOTHING verifies that you are who you say, so under the current court ruling, NO PHOTO ID is required.

    As pointed out, this is subject to change by the legislature, future court rulings, and the whims of the person working your precinct or early voting location, etc.  Know your rights, the rules in place, and call anyone on it who asks for more than required.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:14:41 AM PDT

    •  There is another class (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostboyjim, teknohed, nomandates

      If you mail in a voter registration card or register without showing an ID then you are classed as never having your ID verified.

      Your ID is verified if you register "motor voter", register at the county office, or show an identity document to a Certified Assistant Voter Registrar. If your ID wasn't verified prior to going to the poll, you get the ID notation in the poll book and need to show an identity document and your VUID card.

      I, for one, have no problem being led by a 3500 year old Pharaoh who was trained by space aliens on a distant star.

      by Tomtech on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:50:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I forgot that one (thanks). (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nomandates

        In any case, it is only for those whose age or ID was not verified at time of registration.  No other photo ID required, of ANYONE.

        I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

        by tom 47 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 11:42:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I tested my local system (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, lgmcp, nomandates

    I presented an official letter from the County Clerk's office to see if they would accept it. Their initial reply was "don't you have a drivers licence" and "where is your voter card". After showing them that the letter was acceptable, I gave them the card since it made their job much easier.

    At today's election worker training, the clerk used that as an example of an acceptable identity document. She also said that a Sam's Club Card was accepted by early voting clerks since that would be a "a form of identification containing the person's photograph that establishes the person's identity".

    I, for one, have no problem being led by a 3500 year old Pharaoh who was trained by space aliens on a distant star.

    by Tomtech on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

  •  I early voted yesterday (4+ / 0-)

    Used my voter ID. In another location I might have "tested" the system like Slater did, but the polling place I used is in a heavily hispanic area and it was pretty obvious the poll workers weren't going to be giving anybody hassles. Steady stream of voters before and after me, with their Voter ID's in hand.

    "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:39:50 AM PDT

  •  "pop over" not happening: requires FACEBOOK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, nomandates

    login to leave a comment.

    If anyone wants to pop over and write a comment, feel free.  I'm sure Mr. Slater could use the support.
    Bogus on the part of the site IMO.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:44:34 AM PDT

  •  I have a feeling, though, that trend towards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates

    stricter ID laws is going to continue.  Just as we've lost enormous ground on abortion rights and on gun control, I see the tide flowing against us through every creek and inlet on this one.

    I could tolerate an ID law if it was UNIFORM across the nation and IF it was accompanied by same-day registration provisions everywhere.   I suspect we'd come out even on that one.  

    Pipe dream, though, because registration and voting procedures will never be standardized in this great land of ours.  Never mind that FEDERAL outcomes are determined by this 50-flavors hodgepodge.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:47:07 AM PDT

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