Monday, October 22, 2012

At the Polls: Voter Photo ID is Dead

Oh the irony.
Today is the first day of early voting and I broke my rule of early voting and voted on the first day. I usually give the poll workers a day to shake out the cobwebs in the voting machines. But this time I am not leaving anything to chance. If Jesus calls me home sometime between now and tomorrow afternoon I will be assured that, more than likely, my vote will count.
And in passing down the short sign-in line where I first presented my county-distributed voter registration card, then was about to sign the sticker that the poll worker at the next station was preparing when I heard something that I had never heard before.
The poll worker asked the gentleman in front of me to check and initial a box that stated that he did not have his registration card in his posession.
The gentleman in question presented his driver's licence, a valid form of photo ID as required in the recently overturned Voter ID law passed by the Texas legislature last year. This they accepted, but he then had to initial a statement that he did not have his registration card.
Oh the humanity.
A photo ID, it seems, is not as valid as a county-issued voter registration card.
Sensing that his vote may be in jeopardy of not being counted, the man quickly dove into his wallet and fished out a folded voter registration card of the appropriate yellow color, and he did not, as a result, have to check that box and initial it.
I following behind the gentleman, was not told to initial anything, having presented a valid county-issued voter registration card that did not have on it an image of my face.
Now I suspect that what is behind all of this is that the county got royally messed up in being able to get out new voter registration cards this year because of the court cases on redistricting. I actually had to vote in the primary with my driver's license because I had not received my card by election day. I also signed a statement that I had not received my voter registration card from them yet, and then received it about a month later.
So the speculation is, on my part, that if one cannot at this point produce a valid voter registration card in Fort Bend County, the validity of their current registration is suspect.
Post card trumps Photo ID. Who'd a thought?


Election Judge said...

Hal, I've worked as an Election Judge in Fort Bend County since the 1988 election. Checking the box if you don't have your voters registration card with you is standard (although laxly enforced) procedure.

That said, I voted yesterday in Katy with my utility bill fr ID and was not asked to check the box. Perhaps the poll worker did it for me?

Hal said...

And I've been voting in Fort Bend County with and without the registration card and have never seen this until this time. I think it is significant, and not enforcement of an otherwise ignored rule.