Voter Suppression

Voter ID Now Required in Texas But Good Luck Getting One

According to the Houston Press, while voter ID is now required in Texas following the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, as many as 70 counties in the state do not have an office to provide it.

As currently structured, citizens will need to present both proof of US citizenship and identification in order to obtain an EIC. While the card itself is free, applicants would need to pay up to $22 for a birth certificate as one of the options for obtaining an EIC. [...]

However, other issues stand even more starkly. According to Katherine Cesinger, spokeswoman for TxDPS, citizens will need to apply for EICs at a TxDPS drivers license office. There is no option for a mail-in application. You must show up, in person, to obtain an EIC.

But per the Press’s calculations, there are 70 counties within Texas that do not provide such offices. From Irion and Crockett Counties in Central Texas to La Salle and Duvall Counties in South Texas, TxDPS’s website shows that nearly 30 percent of Texas counties do not provide the necessary offices at which residents will have to arrive if they want to pick up an EIC.

And that’s not all.

While Texas lawmakers have rushed to implement the program, it appears that local authorities don’t really have any idea what they’re doing.

She also said she was unsure as to how long it would take to receive the EIC following an application, or what kind of outreach programs, if any, her department would use to educate Texans as to the new regulations.

“As far as it coming in mail, I’m not sure exactly on what the timing is,” she said. “We’re certainly working with the Secretary of State’s office to educate the public on this. … Again, this is pretty fresh.”

Nearly a third of the state doesn’t have an office to provide voter ID. They don’t know how many voter ID cards they will need. They don’t know how long it will take to issue them. They don’t know what the Secretary of State plans to do. They don’t know shit.

They quite literally flipped the switch on voter ID and decided that they would work out the pesky details later.

They’re flying by the seat of their pants while fiddling with your basic right to vote.

Before rushing to condemn the Eric Holder Justice Department for the next fake scandal, bear in the mind that, if it weren’t for the Supreme Court, none of this would be taking place right now.

  • Lilredhead

    Okay republicans, you wanna play that game? I see many, many lawsuits coming to our state AG.

  • tiboregon

    I don’t know the demographics of Texas, but I’d venture to say that it would be sparsely populated (conservative most likely) counties that wouldn’t have a “DMV”. Have the republicans shot themselves in the foot with this one?

  • Badgerite

    The rest of the VRA is still intact, is it not? Lawsuits can still be brought based on disproportionate impact, it is just that pre-clearance by the DOJ is not required for any state to make changes to its voting requirements. So I say, let the lawsuits begin and with a vengeance. Make Texas have to spend a lot of money and time trying to defend this bullshit in court. Organize and mobilize. Take whole busloads of people to the DMVs .

  • chris ellis

    Conservatives love to slow down government and make sure every aspect of a bill is considered…unless it will prevent their opponents from doing something they don’t like, such as voting, or aborting, or getting medical insurance.

  • chris ellis

    a literal poll tax, not available in your nearby county, and they don’t even know how long it will take to get it. So many will be unable to get it; but then that’s the point, isn’t it?

  • Mark Letham

    The same $h!t happens in Pennsylvania when the Voter ID law was enacted before the 2012 election. The repubs just wanted to ram a bill bill through but couldn’t figure out the mechanics of it. Then the repub leader told every one it was to make sure minorities couldn’t vote. I still don’t know if I need my ID to vote here or not.

  • Tony Lavely

    This makes perfect sense, since the whole point is to prevent “those” perople from voting. Why would they want to make it possible to comply?

  • beulahmo

    They seem determined to inspire a helluva backlash. As a Texan, I stand ready to assist anyone who needs help with stickin’ it to ‘em by doing whatever it takes to vote.

    • Christopher Foxx

      As a non-Texan (thank god!) I feel the same way. Freedom Riders II!

  • Joyce M

    If you do not have a Texas ID and need one, here is a list of the documents you will need.

    You can get in line before you go. I would advise anyone without a drivers license or state ID to carpool with others who also need ID to their nearest MEGA CENTER. It can take hours at a regular DPS office.

  • 1933john

    No problem, tell your Lawyer to fetch.

    • Christopher Foxx

      That’s a 1%-er answer. If someone can’t afford $22 for a birth certificate, why would you expect then to be able to afford a lawyer?

  • Zen Diesel

    The literacy test can’t be far behind.

    • Joyce M

      Don’t forget the poll tax which was equal to the cost of 2-3 family dinners. We have been here before in Texas.

      • nathkatun7

        Joyce, you are absolutely right about Poll-tax when it comes to state and local elections. Fortunately, however, the 24th Amendment explicitly prohibits the use of poll-taxes in federal elections to deny citizens the right to vote. That is to say that under the Constitution, no state can require citizens to pay a poll tax in order to be able to vote for the President and Vice-President of the United States, or members of Congress in both Houses. But the 24th Amendment makes no mention of state and local elections.

        What people forget is the enormous importance of local and state elections. This is especially crucial when it comes to the election of people to serve as governors or members of state legislatures. Republicans, unlike Democrats, have been extremely focused on the importance of Sate and local elections. It’s state legislatures and governors that get to divide Congressional Districts. One of the most devastating outcome of the 2010 election was the fact that Republicans were overwhelmingly elected to state legislatures. As a result, Republican dominated State legislatures, with support of Republican governors, practically gerrymandered
        Congressional Districts in favor of Republicans. This is why it will still be a
        major uphill battle for Democrats to be able to regain majorities in the House of Representatives, either in 2010 or 2016.

        A call must go out to Democrats to remind them that state and local election are a big deal.

    • Cthulhu0818

      Which the GOP will fail….

  • Lady Willpower

    Look for Texas to adopt “One drop” rules next.