Patrick Svitek of The Texas Tribune reported yesterday that presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would use her speech today in Houston “to call for expanded early voting across the country and criticize states like Texas for tightening election laws.” He said that Clinton is planning to “propose a national requirement of at least 20 days of in-person early voting in every state…” He added that the Democratic front-runner is also “expected to advocate for early voting on weekends and evenings across the country, all part of an effort to cut down on long lines and generally make it easier to cast a ballot.”
In her remarks, Clinton also will go after Republicans who have backed efforts to make it harder to vote… The critique likely will include Texas, whose voter ID law is considered the toughest in the nation. The measure was signed into law by former Gov. Rick Perry, who is set to launch his second bid for the White House outside Dallas a few hours before Clinton takes the stage in Houston.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the Texas voter ID law “requires voters to provide one of seven kinds of photo ID to cast a ballot. Four are available from the state Department of Public Safety — driver’s licenses, personal IDs, concealed-handgun permits and election identification certificates. Federally issued passports, citizenship certificates and military IDs also are acceptable.”
This may not seem like much of a problem…but it can be a major—if not near impossible—hurdle to overcome for some individuals. Watch the following video and you’ll understand why.
Texas Voter Identification Assistance Project
Under Texas’ new restrictive photo/voter ID law, more than 600,000 Texans now lack sufficient identification to vote in elections, with little to no help from the State of Texas to resolve the problems. The Texas Voter Identification Assistance Project, coordinated by the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit, provided assistance to Texas voters who wished to vote but lacked the newly required identification, and thus were disenfranchised. (Published April 24, 2015)
The Dallas Morning News:
Opponents said the old law required an ID — with or without a photo — such as a voter registration card, a utility bill, a bank statement or a pay stub that identified the voter and the voter’s address. They said that fraud was rare and that incidents of voters showing up at a poll pretending to be someone else were virtually nonexistent. They also complained about the exclusion of some photo IDs, including federal or state employee IDs and college student IDs.
In his article titled 12 reasons Texas’ new voter ID law is racist (AlterNet/Salon), Steven Rosenfeld wrote about the Supreme Court’s ruling that allowed the Texas voter ID law to go into effect last October:
But as Ginsburg’s blistering 7-page dissent made clear, the fight over Texas’s voter ID law is in a class by itself. That’s because a lower federal court held a trial and found that the law’s intent was to discriminate and disenfranchise, calling it a “poll tax,” and then that record was ignored by higher federal appeals courts—including the Supreme Court…
- Hundreds of thousands of Texans will have a hard time getting the ID.The ID law says that Texans can get a state-issued photo ID from police, but only in certain locations. “Those who lack the approved forms of identification may obtain an “election identification certificate” from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), but more than 400,000 eligible voters face round-trip travel times of three hours or more.”
- The trial court found that impact racist and discriminatory.“On an extensive factual record developed in the course of a nine-day trial, the District Court found Senate Bill 14 [the voter ID law] irreconcilable with Section 2 of the [federal] Voting Rights Act of 1965 because it was enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose and would yield a prohibited discriminatory result.”
Lest we forget…it’s all a part of the conservative movement’s plan:
Paul Weyrich (1980) : ‘I Don’t Want Everybody to Vote’ — The Roots of GOP Voter Suppression
Note: Paul Weyrich is widely regarded as the “founding father of the conservative movement.” He founded ALEC and co-founded the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, Council for National Policy, and Free Congress Foundation, among others.
In Houston, Clinton to Target Texas’ Voter ID Law (The Texas Tribune)
Court raises tough questions on Texas voter ID law (The Dallas Morning News)