From Texas' own website which is an FAQ on the new law:
When a voter arrives at a polling location, the voter will be asked to present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID. Election officials will now be required by State law to determine whether the voter’s name on the identification provided matches the name on the official list of registered voters (“OLRV”). After a voter presents their ID, the election worker will compare it to the OLRV. If the name on the ID matches the name on the list of registered voters, the voter will follow the regular procedures for voting.If the name does not match exactly but is “substantially similar” to the name on the OLRV, the voter will be permitted to vote as long as the voter signs an affidavit stating that the voter is the same person on the list of registered voters.If a voter does not have proper identification, the voter will still be permitted to vote provisionally. The voter will have (six) 6 days to present proper identification to the county voter registrar, or the voter’s ballot will be rejected.So. Breakdown. 7 acceptable form of ID. Ok, lets see what those are:
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
- United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States passport
So the cost of the proper documentation runs the gambit. The two main issues here are that the "Election Identification Card" requires substantial secondary documents to obtain. From Documentation Requirements, two of the following are required, because the only two accepted Primary identification are...a drivers license or a personal identification card, which invalidate you from getting an Election Identification card.
- Drivers License : $25
- Texas Election Identification Card: $Free BUT you have to have Original or Certified copies of various documents--I'll get into that in a bit
- Personal Identification Card: $16
- Texas Conceled Carry: $140
- Military ID: N/A
- Citizenship certificate: $345
- US Passport: $165
Secondary identity documents include:
- Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by the appropriate State Bureau of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency;
- Original or certified copy of United States Department of State Certification of Birth (issued to United States citizens born abroad);
- Original or certified copy of court order with name and date of birth (DOB) indicating an official change of name and/or gender; or
- U.S. citizenship or naturalization papers without identifiable photo.
So the "free" option actually runs a realistic minimum of $23, and that's if you have easy access to originals of the 20-odd items in the 'Supporting Identification' category.
So if you're in college, and don't drive, have fun getting this all together, or if you don't live anywhere near one of DMV locations, you're completely out of luck. By the way around 80 of the 254 counties in Texas don't have DMV locations.
That's just the cost tip of the iceberg.
Lets go back and look at these three sentences from the FAQ.
Election officials will now be required by State law to determine whether the voter’s name on the identification provided matches the name on the official list of registered voters (“OLRV”). After a voter presents their ID, the election worker will compare it to the OLRV. If the name on the ID matches the name on the list of registered voters, the voter will follow the regular procedures for voting.If the name does not match exactly but is “substantially similar” to the name on the OLRV, the voter will be permitted to vote as long as the voter signs an affidavit stating that the voter is the same person on the list of registered voters.By these requirements I would not have gotten to vote in last years Presidential election. Why? Even though I'd updated my voter registration card and information, when I went to the polls, they still had my maiden name on the rolls, not my married name that had been in effect for over two years. My Drivers License had my married name, but the because the polls showed my maiden, even with an "acceptable form of ID" I would have had to cast at best a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots aren't even counted until after the fact, and often aren't counted toward the final vote.
And lets have a lovely illustration out of Corpus Christie where a District Court Judge felt the effects of this law. Her Voter Registration had her first name, her middle name and her last name. Her drivers license had her first name, maiden name and her last name. This failed the "substantially similar" test required by the new law. She had to sign an affidavit confirming her identity, which by the way, is the exact same thing as a provisional ballot!
So, ladies, trans-women and men, and poor people, it looks like Texas has finally figured out ways to make our votes quite literally not count.
Is anyone else feeling that this timing is not coincidental to Wendy Davis announcing her plans to run for governor?