Saturday, October 08, 2011

Disenfranchising Minority Voters, Texas Style

Not surprising me in the least, Texas’ recently-passed Voter ID Law, the one that requires voters present one of only 5 forms of photo ID in order to be able to vote in the state, threatens to disenfranchise 600,000 voters.

This is according to data submitted to the federal government by the state attorney general as requested when the feds decline to issue a “pre-clearance” of the law as required by provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

That request contained a requirement that the attorney general present the federal government with a head count of people who are registered to vote but do not hold drivers’ licenses

And it comes as no surprise that many of the 24 counties where a significant number of registered voters do not carry drivers’ licenses are small rural counties with significant Hispanic populations.

Topping the list is Presidio County which has as many as 25.9%, or 1,313 registered voters with no record of having a drivers’ license.

Republicans, true to form, don’t think the law will disenfranchise voters at all. Patricia Harless R-Spring, and one of the sponsors of the Voter ID law put it this way:
“‘I don't think this, in any way, is going to disenfranchise anyone," she said.”

“Harless said most of the people not found in DPS files would be able to vote. Maybe their licenses and voter ID cards are different because one has a maiden name and the other has a married name.”

“She also said many of those people in border counties could have only passports for travel to Mexico. Or they are 65 years old or older, and exempt from the voter ID requirements.
And oh, yeah, on that last point about people 65 and older being exempt from the law: liar, liar pants on fire. While it is true that the bill once contained language that exempted those over 65, that was stripped out of the bill before final passage.

Texas Republicans, lying to Texans since 1998.

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