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A voter arrives at a polling location to vote in Portland, Maine November 3, 2009. Among the issues on the ballot is an effort to repeal Maine's gay marriage law, which was adopted last spring by the Legislature.  REUTERS/Joel Page  (UNITED STATES - Tags:
When your Republican-pushed “voter ID” law is snagging people like the former speaker of the House, you may have a problem a bit bigger than actual voter fraud ever was:
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.

Wright, who is now 90, had only an expired driver’s license and a Texas Christian University faculty ID, neither of which were good enough to prove to the nice state of Texas that he was not just some other person pretending to be Jim Wright, former Speaker of the Freaking House. (A gun permit, mind you, would have been acceptable.) And while Jim Wright is a former speaker of the Freaking House and therefore has an assistant available to help him jump through the next necessary hoops (obtaining a certified copy of his birth certificate, re-applying at the DPS to obtain the necessary new identification), there are hundreds of thousands of Texans who weren’t and don’t and can’t. No worries, though:
Tarrant County Elections Administrator Steve Raborn said Saturday that people who might find themselves in a similar situation should cast a provisional ballot and obtain identification needed to “cure” it within six days. […]

Raborn's office reached out to people who might have expired driver licenses, such as those who live in nursing homes, to let them know that the license can be expired by no more than two months to be a valid photo ID for voting. […]

They must have proof of citizenship, such as a passport or certified copy of a birth certificate. If a person doesn't have a certified copy of a birth certificate, he or she can go to the Tarrant County clerk's office and get a certified copy for $3 if it is for the purpose of getting an EIC.

Along with the birth certificate, people need to show two other pieces of identification — such as a driver license expired less than two years, a voter registration card, school records, military records or a Social Security card — to get the EIC.

Raise your hand if you think Americans in nursing homes are going to be able to do all that in the six days necessary in order to get their already-cast ballot to “count.” It’d be easier to just get the damn handgun license. (Note to self: Arm all Texas nursing home residents. That’ll make the nurses’ jobs a hell of a lot more interesting.)

And this doesn’t even count the requirement that your current ID match the name in the polling book, a so-called “accidental” effect of the law that just happens to primarily impact married women who have changed their names, or the difficulty in visiting a state office that does not have offices in all state counties.

Given that Texas has had recent outbreaks of voter fraud approximately never, there’s no question that the new law is intended almost exclusively as a vehicle for disenfranchisement. It’s nabbed the former speaker of the house, and it’s nabbed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, and it’s expected to nab as many as 800,000 other legitimate Texas voters.

It’s a poll tax, plain and simple. Republicans have been trying to keep certain people from voting for decades, i.e. people who might not vote the right way, and it’s not exactly coincidence that the recent Supreme Court decision pooh-poohing the notion that such things happen these days has resulted in an orgy of new Republican laws aimed squarely at making it happen.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis (29+ / 0-)

    both had to file an affidavit so they could vote. When the Republican candidate for governor has to file an affidavit, something is really wrong with their poll tax - I mean voting ID restrictions.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:47:46 PM PST

  •  Wonder if I'll have a problem (11+ / 0-)

    My voter reg card has my middle name butchered by a mis-spelling.  Has been that way since I first registered in TX in '94.  I wonder if I'll have an issue now all of a sudden after almost 20 years of voting in TX.

    "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around..."

    by cgvjelly on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:48:00 PM PST

  •  It's gonna take the National Guard to secure (7+ / 0-)

    Texans' voting rights next year. The president shouldn't hesitate.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:49:27 PM PST

  •  Nursing home voting anecdote (10+ / 0-)

    My dad was in a nursing home in Kansas.  When Kobach changed our laws to fight the insidious threat that is voter fraud, my mom was concerned about my dad's fellow residents -

    she asked the social worker and administrator - they had no clue the voting laws had been changed nor how to assist the residents in complying with them.

    She talked to some of my dad's friends at lunch to ask them what they thought.  

    She figured out that
    1) They didn't know the law had changed and that they would likely not be able to vote without and ID
    2) based on their comments, they were all (except for my dad of course) solidly Republican and would continue to vote that way, despite being disenfranchised by their own party.

    The moral:  I suspect in some of these red states, they're losing as many votes on their side as they lose ours.  

    Because Kobach and his ilk are flippin' idiots.

  •  Isn't making it harder for people in nursing (4+ / 0-)

    homes to vote rather counterproductive to Republicans?  Assault on Medicare notwithstanding, they depend a lot on older voters.

  •  This law must be stopped before next Nov... (3+ / 0-)

    and the backlash from this law should push more people to attempt to vote than normally would.

    "Really nice, but also very serious about his job." Jackie Evancho on President Obama 6/7/12

    by BarackStarObama on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:53:05 PM PST

    •  We will see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There was much concern that Romney would automatically win because of Citizen United.  In this case, there is little voter fraud, i.e. undocumented immigrants that are voting.  The hispanics, for instance, who want to vote do.  And just look at how afraid conservatives are afraid of a little organization called NCLR.  I have heard conservatives call them terrorist, and how they 'invade' meetings.  Though not much is done in Texas, I have seen this organization around.

      What I see is the number of conservative old people in Texas, and while sad, I think these are the ones that will be disenfranchised.

      Conservatives in Texas are using legislative tricks and activists court to push policy that re not popular at all.  National organizations dump millions into Texas to fund campaigns.

      From the basis of national campaigns, someplace like Ohio or Wisconsin is much troubling.  These states have not federal oversight, so I see a greater possibility of everyone who is not white being disfranchised in these states.

  •  Here are some statistics from Ohio, complied (3+ / 0-)

    by the Ohio Attorney General's office, headed by Jon Husted.

    Out of the more than 7.7 million Ohioans registered to vote, there are only four duplicate registrations, down from more than 340,000 in January of 2011. (snip)
    Here's more:
    (snip) Husted said that more than 129,500 voters have updated their addresses online, while the names of nearly 245,000 dead people have been removed from Ohio’s rolls. (snip)

    And finally:

    (snip) In January, Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections followed a Husted directive to examine all complaints of voter fraud to determine if there was enough evidence for further review. The boards forwarded 115 cases out of 625 complaints to local prosecutors.

    Add the 115 local cases with the 20 potential instances of multistate voting, and even assuming all were guilty, Ohio would’ve had a voter-fraud rate in 2012 of 0.0024 percent out of 5.63 million votes cast.

    So we have 7.7 million registered voters in Ohio, 115 cases referred FOR INVESTIGATION, not prosecution, and possibly 24 bad votes per million cast, and they aren't even sure about that.  And the Republicans want to enact legislation that makes it harder to vote on what basis?  Maybe some of the voters may want to vote for Democrats?  Or Tea Partiers?  I am happy, however that they got those 245,000 dead people off the voter rolls, that really eases my mind.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:00:51 PM PST

  •  and via boll moyers re the nation magazine, too: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, akmk

    The rollout of the new voter ID law in Texas is off to a very bad start, writes Ari Berman in The Nation Magazine.

    Texas Voter ID Law Ensnares Former Speaker of the House, Candidates for Governor, State Judge

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:01:05 PM PST

    •  ha ha yep i know hunter links to it, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Forest Deva

      but i got mine from ol' boll moyers.
      (gack. but ha ha, too.)

      Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

      by greenbird on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:02:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Correction, Jon Husted is Ohio Secretary (0+ / 0-)

    of State, not AG.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:02:07 PM PST

  •  He probably has a passport. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txcatlin, LoneStarMike, dewtx

    That would be an acceptable ID.

    The rules aren't as ironclad as some make it seem. Poll workers, like myself, are able to deem that the name on an ID document is "substantially similar" to the name on the voter roll and allow the voter to vote plus there are exceptions for religions which don't wish photographs and for disabilities (I don't see how a disability would prevent someone from getting an ID.).

    Don't get me wrong, I would prefer the way it was previously when I was able to allow a voter to vote without the current stringent rules.

    TX SOS

    If the name does not match exactly but is “substantially similar” to the name on the [voter roster], the voter will be permitted to vote as long as the voter signs an affidavit stating that the voter is the same person on the list of registered voters.

    If a voter does not have proper identification, the voter will still be permitted to vote provisionally. The voter will have (six) 6 days to present proper identification to the county voter registrar, or the voter’s ballot will be rejected.


    Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption. The application must contain written documentation from either the U.S. Social Security Administration evidencing he or she has been determined to have a disability, or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs evidencing a disability rating of at least 50 percent. In addition, the applicant must state that he or she has no valid form of photo identification. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote by presenting a voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption. Please contact your voter registrar for more details.

    Voters who have a consistent religious objection to being photographed and voters who do not have any valid form of photo identification as a result of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot, appear at the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days after election day, and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection or natural disaster, in order for your ballot to be counted. Please contact your county voter registrar for more details.

    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 Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:10:21 PM PST

    •  Quite thoughtless that remark. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smartalek, bobinson, Matt Z, Tomtech
      (I don't see how a disability would prevent someone from getting an ID.).
      I know someone who is unable to leave his home to travel to nearest town to get a number and wait in long line to appear in person in order to obtain a current a photo ID because of a disability. Extreme hardship.
    •  He probably doesn't have a passport (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Like you, I have zero evidence to support my claim. I don't know the man. However, since he knew he would need some kind of valid governmental ID, why didn't he bring it instead of making a national news story? The Dallas Morning News loves writing about a guy who left his passport in his sock drawer.

      i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

      by bobinson on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 03:36:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He will get to vote. (0+ / 0-)

        Star Telegram:

        The legendary Texas political figure was able to get a state-issued personal identification card because his assistant dug through boxes of records at his office until she found a certified copy of his birth certificate, which was one of the pieces of ID needed.

        Other officials — such as gubernatorial candidates Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, and state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat — experienced minor snags with the law.

        In both cases, the candidates had to sign an affidavit to let them vote because the names on their driver licenses and voter certificates were slightly different but “substantially similar.”

        I am surprised that he thought he could get a new ID without his birth certificate or another acceptable document.

        As for politicians making a big deal out of a minor nuisances, Greg Abbott, Wendy Davis and a judge made headlines because a poll worker notes that their voter registration didn't exactly match their ID and asked them to sign a sheet while offering them a form which would have led to a change in their voter registration record so that it would match in future elections.

        BTW: I plan to be a Davis Delegate to next year's Texas Democratic Convention.

        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 Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:20:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mentioned last night in Austin (4+ / 0-)

    on KVUE, the local ABC affiliate here:

    Counties are bracing for potential problems.

    "The things that we're finding are a little bit surprising. Fifty percent of our voters have some kind of name issue, small name issue, that's resolved at the polling place. We didn't think it was going to be that high," said Travis County Clerk, Dana DeBeauvoir.

    This is the first election since a new state law went into effect requiring voters to show an I.D.

    "Everything's probably going to be fine, and we are there to help you. The judges have all been trained to try to help you in the best way they can, exercise your right to vote," said DeBeauvoir.

    Preparations underway for Election Day

    Fortunately, most of the issues are being resolved without the voter having to use a provisional ballot.

  •  The only way to stop this, I'm afraid (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, 88kathy, triplepoint, smartalek, DRo

    is to make retroactively invalid all elections held under too-restrictive voter laws.

    It will wreak havoc, but anything less is going to result in "we'll pass a law we know will be shot down, but win 3 elections while it winds through the courts".

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:17:19 PM PST

  •  We need to start organizing around (5+ / 0-)


    Face it. They've won the argument that we somehow "need" to combat voter fraud. The proof is in the pudding. These laws are being enacted. No one is complaining enough to stop them. I know that's a simplistic assessment, but no matter how you approach it, that's the truth.

    Their argument has (publicly) been about fairness. It's not fair that people get to vote that shouldn't. It's reasonable to try and stop unfairness. They've duped a large number of people with that argument.

    Now we have the fairness argument too. Instead of merely complaining that Voter ID is a, 'solution in search of a problem,' we need to pivot towards an, ' effective solution that actually works.' In a word...


    Vote-By-Mail was enacted 15 years ago in Oregon. It's been used in every election there for over a decade.

    Repeat after me, "Oregon solved the fraud issue without stopping Grandma from voting. Unlike [State], it's a solution that actually works."

    Voter ID is disaster. So let's use it to push for enacting true reform.

    •  fear around every corner...fear of losing... (0+ / 0-)

      fear of "those people"...

      •  fear of it happening to you... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...fear of having your own vote not counted... fear of your documents being the ones not in order... fear of your own voice being denied...

        If it can happen to a Republican candidate for Governor of Texas, then maybe you're next. Maybe the voter ID law won't stop "them" from voting. That Battleground Texas group, what are they up to anyway?

        Just to be safe, it's probably better to try something else instead. This whole voter ID thing doesn't seem to be working out.


        At the very least, it makes for fun trolling.

  •  The white GOPers are dying out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Matt Z

    The only way they can win in the future is by either having more white babies or stopping the non-whites from voting.

    Sarcasm on...It is so nice I live in a post racial America...Sarcasm off.

    by wbishop3 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:26:29 PM PST

  •  The downfall of Jim Wright continues! (0+ / 0-)

    Crossing the street is a noble endeavor. I’m on a personal mission to bring boy scouts and little old ladies together. - 16382

    by glb3 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:36:09 PM PST

  •  And the laws are being challenged, which should, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when the Supreme Court is flooded with complaints, show them the necessity of restoring and maintaining those laws ad infinitum.

    It's like removing guardrails because they're somehow done saving drivers' lives.

    The lack of logic is breath-taking.

    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:59:09 PM PST

  •  Just goes to show ya....... (0+ / 0-)

    Texas ain't gonna let no one commit voter fraud.

  •  Poll Taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why don't we just call these Republican shenanigans what they really are, "Poll Taxes"!

    The Republicans have reinstituted the Poll Taxes by calling them something else.  They are actually more insidious, more far-reaching, and they actually disenfranchise more voters than the poll taxes could have ever done.  Republicans don't want people to vote.  They would rather have a nation in which only rich white people vote, and better yet, if their vote was weighted by the balance in their checking accounts.

    My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

    by NM Ray on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 02:18:37 PM PST

    •  Well yeah, and I'm sure that that will be one of (0+ / 0-)

      the grounds this law will be challenged on. There is a beautifully ugly statistic, that (as of fairly recently) Texas has issued only 14 of the special photo IDs that are proof of identity for elections - when there are estimated to be some 40,000-plus that need them.

  •  Before too long in the south you will need to be (0+ / 0-)

    blond-haired, blue-eyed and demonstrate through genealogy going back 6 generations that there were no other ethnicities in your bloodline before a member of their local "militia" allows you to stand in line with your "papers".

    Think I'm kidding? They're damned close to that now in several states.

  •  Texas Voter (0+ / 0-)

    So this is weird and I would like an opinion. Weeks ago I pulled out my voter registration card and It has first name, maiden name, and last name. So does my driver's license. Naturally, I assumed I was good to go. BUT last night, I went to the website and when I type in either my driver's license or voter ID number, the site only has my first and last name. I should add that when I divorced I legally changed my name to only first and last name, and the state of Texas added the maiden name without my consent. I am really curious if they will let me vote tomorrow.... Thoughts?

  •  It was designed to prevent Democrats from voting (0+ / 0-)

    why wouldn't it present the state's most famous Democrat from voting?

    "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

    by zdefender on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 04:50:33 PM PST

  •  Confusing "Voting rights" with "Voting RIGHT" ... (0+ / 0-)

    More and more good reasons to leave this burgeoning corporate-fascist-police-state and find an island somewhere.

    First time I've ever posted here at the Daily KOS.  Been reading it since about forever, though.  Don't even remember when, but I do remember that it was a new site.

    For the record since I have no history here from which to derive my leanings or experiences:

    I am an AULDE PHARTE;

    an inveterate, card-carrying, unwavering CURMUDGEON, with three bronze clusters on my "Get OFF My LAWN" medal;

    a TRUE conservative, and I am not using the definition of the word in the sense which the current crop of Tea Baggers have bent around it;

    a supporter of FREEDOM as it was written down by the Founding Fathers (JUST ENOUGH government to keep everyone safe, and NO MORE, and co-operation instead of conflict);

    as independent (and not just politically) as a hog on ice;

    and a VETERAN of seven years in the USAF during the Cold War.  (And by the other way, my chunk of that "Cold" war got pretty d@mned hot once in awhile.)

    As a for-instance, using voting as a standard, I have YET to find one of the current crop of Repugnicants that is worth voting for, in several decades of voting in every election that came up.

    Religiously, I am so agnostic it stinks, and about as tolerant of any one other human's choices in that arena as it is possible to be.  That holds pretty much forever, and I only ask in return that they tolerate MY choice in the matter.  I happen to think that ALL of religions are just pretexts for organized hate, and mental enslavement of the many by the privileged few.  

    (OK, so Buddhism gets at least a "by" here, it might not exactly even BE a religion, but mostly because I can't find a war instigated by them, and they don't by general principle go kill anyone else who ISN'T a Buddhist.  Not a lot of Buddhist Jihadis, in other words, so I can tolerate them more than not.  They don't arouse the ire.  I certainly can put up with the Buddhists a whole lot more than I can the protestant screwball sects like the one my mother tried to shove down my throat when I was a kid.  Pew-runnin', snake-handlin', "tongues"-talkin', dyed-in-the-wool "Baptists" and "Pentecostals," and every one of them nuttier than a boat-load of squirrel-crap.)

    So, that's me in a nutshell.  Or maybe "nut case" applies here.  

    Back on target, voting rights was one of the things for which I always thought this country worth going out and getting shot at.

    Looks like that motive is going the way of the wild goose.  They're going to have to step up the brain-washing to get the next crop of cannon fodder.

    •  An interesting distinction (0+ / 0-)

      you make there.  I think I need to ponder this for a bit, because I think it might open up some things in my mind.

      voting rights was a major force of US politics since the mid-19th century.  The tensions have often been palpable.  The 21st century variety is just a tad bit bizarre, however, especially to those who are familiar with the long-view history involved.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:06:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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