Thursday, September 11, 2014

Texas' voter ID motives questioned in two areas

In the state legislature...

More than a week ago, Texas Senate Democrats put Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry on notice: They wanted her office to get more mobile units on Texas streets to give voters without an acceptable photo ID a chance to get one before November's election.

One week later, there's been no movement to do so, says state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin.

The problem, he says, is that there are not one but two state agencies in charge of putting more mobile units out in the community. The Secretary of State's office (SOS), which includes voter registration, has to coordinate where the mobile units will go. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) actually owns the mobile units which can issue the new Texas election identification certificates, or EICs.

After trying to get the two entities to agree on how to do it — and to do it quickly — Watson said late Tuesday that it "appears to me it is a breakdown on both ends."

Ah, the Department of Public Safety. Their scheme is revealed in the courthouse, where the state's photo ID legislation is on trial.

Emails from a Department of Public Safety official raised questions Tuesday in federal court about the sincerity of the agency's voter qualification efforts.

"Zero's a good number," Tony Rodriguez, a senior DPS manager wrote in a email presented as evidence in the ongoing voter ID trial. Rodriguez was responding to a subordinate's report that no election identification certificates had been issued the day before at a DPS location.

The rest is behind a paywall, but there's more context for it at the Brennan Center's liveblog.  Note that this courtroom drama -- which included testimony from Sen. Wendy Davis -- came last Friday morning, and the Corpus Christi Caller-Time's story (first linked; apparently the only news coverage, if you can believe Google) appeared last night.

What an appalling lapse on the part of the Texas media.  To be even-handed, there was some other breaking news late last Friday that must have simply overwhelmed our tired corporate news gatherers.  All the way into Thursday.

The Texas Secretary of State, as we all know by now, is Mrs. Michael Berry.  So when you hear it said over and over again that Texas is a non-voting state, you also need to understand that this is no accident on the part of Texas Republicans.  That is exactly the way they want it.

It's the only way they can stay in power.

Here's my opportunity to repeat myself: do what you have to do in order to make sure you can vote in the next few weeks, and do it now.  And then help your family, friends, and neighbors do so.

Texas Leftist has more.  Update: And Charles climbed over the firewall and got more of the Caller-Times story.   It's worth reading just for DPS official Rodriguez' defense of his 'zero is a good number' comments as sarcasm.

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