The ACLU of Texas Wants You to Know: You Still Don't Need a Photo ID to Vote

BallotBox.jpg
Flickr
This is known as irony. Please don't put coffee cups in the real ballot box.
With early voting for the May 29 primary election already underway, and with the federal government's tet-a-tet with Texas over its 2011 voter ID law far from settled, the ACLU of Texas wants to remind you that no, you don't need to show an ID to vote and if a poll worker asks you for one, you can tell them to shove it. More precisely, you should inform them in measured tones that "(t)he Photo Voter ID law has not been approved by the Justice Department and is not yet in effect," per the ACLU's recommendation.

The ACLU is not the first to point this out, but Terri Burke, executive director of the organization's Texas arm, said the language on the back of voting registration cards has prompted confusion.

Since I brought mine to work today to prove that I'm legally permitted to work in the United States, I flipped it over for a refresher.

"Upon federal approval of a photo identification law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011," the card states, a voter must show a valid photo ID, like a driver's license or, because this is Texas, a concealed handgun permit.

OK, the law's the law, I suppose, but hey, remember how Texas has a history of racial discrimination at the polls and how the U.S. Department of Justice swatted down the ID law?

Burke certainly does. Those new documents will be required only if the feds okay the 2011 measure, which she says may never happen and certainly won't in time to go into effect for the primaries.

Until then, voters can use the same ID they always have. If you're told differently, don't listen and be sure to memorize the following sentence:

"Under section 63.0101 of the Texas Election Code, the valid forms of ID include, for example: (1) a voter registration certificate; (2) a driver's license or photo ID card; (3) a birth certificate; (4) U.S. citizenship papers; (5) a U.S. passport; (6) official mail addressed to you from a government entity; or (7) a copy of a utility bill, paycheck, bank statement, government check, or other government document with your name and address."

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Timetomoveon
Timetomoveon

People who cry about this being racist could always have a "get your id" drive and actually do something that will help people rather than just mass voter registrations.

pak152
pak152

so I wonder when the ACLU is going to file suit against the DOJ for demanding that people present a photo id before entering a government building?

http://www.powerlineblog.com/a...

"Kansas's Secure and Fair Elections Act combined three elements: (1) a requirement that voters present photo IDs when they vote in person; (2) a requirement that absentee voters present a full driver's license number and have their signatures verified; and (3) a proof of citizenship requirement for all newly registered voters. Although a few states, including Georgia, Indiana and Arizona, have enacted one or two of these reforms, Kansas is the only state to enact all three."http://online.wsj.com/article/...

"The (South Carolina) Department of Motor Vehicles audited a state Election Commission report that said 239,333 people were registered to vote but had no photo ID. The DMV found that 37,000 were deceased, more than 90,000 had moved to other states, and others had names not matched to IDs. That left only 27,000 people registered without a photo ID but who could vote by signing an affidavit as to their identity."http://www.washingtontimes.com...

state by state voter id requirementshttp://www.stateline.org/proje...

" Stevens wrote in a 6-3 majority opinion upholding an Indiana voter ID law: “That flagrant examples of [voter] fraud…have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists…demonstrate[s] that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.”"http://blog.heritage.org/2012/...

" it's hard to escape the conclusion that Democrats count on exploiting an inept and tattered registration system to help them win close elections. If that isn't the case, they should prove it by backing a reform that would do much to protect the sanctity of the ballot box."http://news.investors.com/arti...

"n appeals court upheld a requirement in a 2004 Arizona law that voters show identification before they can cast ballots, saying that there wasn't evidence that the mandate disproportionately affected Latinos as the challengers had alleged."http://online.wsj.com/article/...

Pecos_Drifter
Pecos_Drifter

If I'm making the effort to vote, show up and spend the gas money not to mention the wear and tear on my car, I should at least get to vote a couple of times while I'm there....... and have you seen some of these people that vote.....it's like a insane asylum.....

GOPBlows
GOPBlows

Except in Denton County where they will ask you for your drivers license and give you some BS excuse as to why. Had that happen yesterday. I did complain.

Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open

Let's see, you have to have a photo ID to write a check, open a bank account, use a credit card, rent a car.  But, requiring one to vote is racist.  I wonder why the other needs for a photo ID aren't racist.

That is a gun in my Pocket
That is a gun in my Pocket

Nope, you can not use a concealed handgun license card, at least not in Denton County.  The reader for IDs, which you must present if you want to vote -- no ifs, ands, or buts to the senior citizens running the polls -- reads drivers licenses but not CHLs. 

Guest
Guest

Denton loves crime.

It's the only explanation.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Poor people often go through much of their lives without writing checks, having credit cards, or renting cars. Getting a photo ID costs time and money, especially if the offices aren't convenient to where poor people live, as Suburban Idiot points out.

We've been over this before: it's an obstacle that acts as a de facto poll tax. I wouldn't call it racist, but I would call it classist.

Guest
Guest

Because there's no right to rent a car, write a check or open a bank account in the Constitution? (they're not supposed to ask for ID when you use a credit card, but that's a contractual thing)

It's not a big deal for me to show an ID, but given what we know about actual in-person voter fraud (it barely exists) as well as the other bits of red tape the legislature threw up (you can't get a free ID at any old driver's license office. You have to go to a specialized one that may be hundreds of miles away from your residence) and how many who back such bills react when one of their own is caught having committed voter fraud (Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee for President yet he was caught doing essentially what Carlos Medrano was convicted of doing. But Romney gets a pass), then we should go ahead and admit why we are pushing these laws.

Da Truth
Da Truth

You will be able to use a CHL once the TX Voter ID law is approved in court, assuming it is approved. But not a student ID. We don't want students to vote or anything.

Guest
Guest

So, just like how Denton County lets criminals roam free even after they're caught red-handed committing a crime (Robert Powell, for example), Denton County is prepared, assuming the Voter ID law is allowed to go into effect, to violate state law when it comes to what ID is acceptable for voting? (and your post implies that they're already illegally requiring ID to vote).

Seems like that might be a bad idea.

Of course, given (once again) that Denton County likes criminals and does whatever it can to make sure that people who break the law never see charges, I guess they figure they can do whatever they want to, regardless of the law.

People complain about Dallas being corrupt, but Denton is a cesspool of corruption if you ask me.

pak152
pak152

 "We've been over this before: it's an obstacle that acts as a de facto poll tax"

really can you point us to anything that supports this contention? I can point to s SCOTUS case saying photo id laws are okay.

Guest
Guest

College IDs are probably too easy to fake.

Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

(Seriously, though, since there are so many different college IDs, one could make an argument that it'd be too difficult to verify whether each individual one was valid, while CHLs and DLs and the other acceptable stuff is, as far as I remember, relatively consistent state-wide).

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

At my previous residence, I was usually allowed to vote just by showing my voter card. Ironically, I sometimes faced more scrutiny while trying to vote in primaries than in the presidential elections (prior to 2008, that is), and certainly more than in simple municipal elections.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Well, you could read http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03... for starters:

Texas officials had argued that they would take sufficient steps to mitigate any impact of the law, including giving free identification cards to voters who lacked them. But the department said the proposed efforts were not enough, citing the bureaucratic difficulties and cost of obtaining birth certificates or other documents necessary to get the cards.

And is the case you're thinking of the one involving Indiana?

The section of the Voting Rights Act at issue does not apply to jurisdictions that do not have a discriminatory past, giving the Justice Department less power to intervene in some states that have enacted such laws. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that a similar Indiana law did not violate the United States Constitution, but that case did not involve the higher standards of the Voting Rights Act or presentation of statistical evidence about any disparate impact.

scottindallas
scottindallas

not without a provision for free ids.  and, being without financial cost does not make them "free" either. Somehow, my white ass will most likely be allowed to vote with my voter registration card. I'm gonna try it.

Guest
Guest

If the number is miniscule, why not make the free IDs available at every drivers license office? They specifically wrote the law to severely limit the number of places these IDs were available. If that wasn't to make it difficult for people to get them, what was the reason?

(And I don't know about "miniscule". In South Carolina, there were supposedly 178,000 people who were registered voters who were apparently without the proper ID when their Voter ID law was passed. I only remember the number because Gov. Nikki Haley claimed she would personally drive anyone who didn't have the proper ID to the DL office to get an ID, so sure was she that the number was, in fact, miniscule. That's about 178,000 more people than have been accused of illegal in-person voting in South Carolina, by the way... Or even 23,000 as your post below attests in regard to South Carolina. And if you let people vote anyway just by signing something attesting to their identity, then what's the stupid point of the law?)

But, you know, even if the total number of people who can't get to the DL office to get a free ID is 1,000 nationwide, that's still more than the number of in-person voter fraud cases.

In Dallas County alone, we have more cases of prosecutorial misconduct that go unpunished thanks to a very short statute of limitations in the law than we have cases of in-person voter fraud, but we sure don't see any emergency legislation down there in the Legislature to fix that, do we?

Rex Pickett's Miracle Dogs have falsely put more people in prison than there have been in-person voter fraud cases. No urgency in the Legislature to stop that from happening (or to overturn those cases in which people were falsely convicted).

Dr. Ralph Erdmann faked more autopsies than there have been in-person voter fraud cases.

John Bradley told more lies in his most recent "letter to the people" than there have been cases of in-person voter fraud in Texas.

Mike Rawlings has more separate and distinct personalities than there are cases of in-person voter fraud in Texas.

Rick Perry forgot more cabinet departments he wanted to eliminate than there have been cases of in-person voter fraud in Texas.

There are more people on the Dallas Citizens Council who oppose the Trinity Toll Road than there are cases of in-person voter fraud in Texas.

and so on.

But Voter ID was such an emergency, it took precedence over everything else in the Legislature, including the bi-annual budget.

Whether this particular Voter ID law gets approved or not, I'm sure we'll eventually have such a law on the books. It honestly doesn't bother me that much, but if we're going to offer Free IDs to get around the whole poll tax thing, then there's no reason not to offer them at every DL office at the very least.

And if we're really against voter fraud, we should be calling for Mitt Romney to be prosecuted for his voter fraud. Why give him a pass just because he's our nominee? Why only be against voter fraud that we think is committed by the other party?

pak152
pak152

"why not make free IDs available throughout the DL system?" and the states where these laws have been approved do provide a means for folks who don't have a photo id to get one. and guess what the number of folks who don't have a photo id is minuscule

Guest
Guest

To lower voter turnout, especially among certain groups who tend to reliably vote for members of the party that doesn't currently control the Legislature/Governor's Office that thought pushing Voter ID was more important than balancing the budget.

If you really cared about making sure everyone is who they say they are (a goal that is certainly difficult to argue with), why not make free IDs available throughout the DL system? If you really cared about people voting where they're supposed to vote, why nominate someone for president who never lived in his listed official voting address?

If you simultaneously make it more difficult to vote AND make it more difficult for certain groups of individuals to obtain the items necessary to vote, then it's pretty obvious what your actual goals are.

(At one point during the Voter ID debate, some legislators wanted to do away with early voting. Early voting is, in my opinion, a huge success in this state. There's no practical reason to get rid of it unless your intention is to make it more difficult to vote and, therefore, lessen voter turnout).

Da Truth
Da Truth

To keep 90 year old ladies from voting

GOPSucks
GOPSucks

People only fake IDs to buy beer and become international criminals. Voting is not worth faking an ID.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...