Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Do you have the proper ID to vote in November?

Because you're going to need it, no matter what happens in court.

The trial in Corpus Christi started on Tuesday is called Veasey v. Perry, and it is being held in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Proponents of voter ID laws argue they are needed to prevent voter fraud and they aren’t intrusive or discriminatory; opponents claim voter ID laws discriminate because the laws require minorities to go through difficult steps to obtain an ID and the burden is a modern-day equivalent of the dreaded poll tax.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos is hearing arguments in the current case, and the judge’s could also set a precedent where Texas is put back on the pre-clearance list, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Shelby County case in 2013.

There are many Houstonians of low socio-economic background -- many of them African American -- without proper ID, according to this map (courtesy Houston Press, click to enlarge or go to the original at the link).

And as we know -- either first-hand four years ago, or second-hand more recently -- the Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, considers voter registration in poor neighborhoods of Harris County to be a criminal offense, worthy of requiring SWAT teams to enforce, confiscate, and destroy records.

Is your license current (as in not expired)?  Does it show your current address?  You can fix this online (which beats waiting in line, offline).  No driver's license, or need help securing an ID?

Free voter IDs are offered by the state, though one third of Texas' 254 counties do not have Department of Public Safety stations that can provide the cards, and opponents say voters must still pay for copies of birth certificates or other documents to obtain the ID.

Battleground Texas can help you with that.

 You might be eligible for a mail-in ballot, which would make an ID unnecessary.  Instructions to request one in your home county are here.

NOW is the time to make certain you don't encounter some kind of holdup, especially if you vote on Election Day, because there is very little time to fix any problems at that time.

Get it done, and then help your neighbors, especially if they are older and less well-off.  Everybody needs to cast a ballot in this election in order to affect change -- even in the slightest way -- the decades-long, one-party monolithic rulership in Texas.

Update: Socratic Gadfly reminds rich, white Republicans that the only ID they will need at the polling place is their checkbook.

More Updates: The Brennan Center has a report from the courtroom on the trial, and the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus asks Michael Berry's wife for more mobile voter ID stations.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

I just had another snark attack, related to this post and your earlier one about Abbott's vote suppression. I'll have something up tomorrow morning.