Voter ID laws work …. to suppress votes | Arkansas Blog

Voter ID laws work …. to suppress votes

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Huffington Post reports that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was right — voter ID laws do suppress voting. Thanks to her Republican colleagues, however, Texas is merrily suppressing voters with its ID law, similar to the Arkansas GOP vote suppression act recently struck down by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

A disabled woman in Travis County was turned away from voting because she couldn’t afford to pay her parking tickets. An IHOP dishwasher from Mercedes can’t afford the cost of getting a new birth certificate, which he would need to obtain the special photo ID card required for voting. A student at a historically black college in Marshall, who registered some of her fellow students to vote, won't be able to cast a ballot herself because her driver's license isn't from Texas and the state wouldn't accept her student identification card.

There are plenty of stories like this coming out of Texas in the early voting period leading up to Election Day. Texas' tough voter ID law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011, requires voters to show one of seven types of photo identification. Concealed handgun licenses are allowed, but college student IDs are not, nor are driver’s licenses that have been expired for more than sixty days.

...In Austin, 45-year-old Eric Kennie, who hasn't set foot outside the state his whole life, couldn't get his card because the birth certificate he struggled to afford lists his mother's maiden name. In Houston, an election judge claims that a 93-year-old veteran was turned away from the polls because his driver's license had been expired for too long. Another 62-year-old woman told MSNBC that she was threatened with jail time when she went to obtain her voter ID because she was driving with a California license.

Dana DeBeauvoir, the clerk responsible for overseeing election conduct in Travis County, which has over one million people and includes the city of Austin, said she spoke this week to a 61-year-old disabled woman, Madeleine, who was “in tears” because she was turned away when she went to vote at a grocery store.

The low-income woman is on a payment plan with a court to pay off her parking tickets, DeBeauvoir said, and while she’s on the plan, her license is suspended. 

Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it? Prouder still if you're Texan.

Snark aside, thanks to the Arkansas Constitution for stopping a similar purge in Arkansas, at least for now.



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