If You’re Poor and You Live in Texas, Your Right to Vote Has Been Taken Away

Here’s an excerpt from my Monday column about the Republican poll tax.

Let’s take a look at the Texas Voter ID law (poll tax), since the attorney general there zealously enacted his state’s Voter ID law before the ink was dry on the Shelby County v Holder decision.

In order to vote, citizens of Texas will have to present a photo ID or else they won’t be able to vote. The ID has to be one of the following:

-Texas driver license—unexpired or expired less than 60 days
-Texas identification card—unexpired or expired less than 60 days
-Texas concealed handgun license—unexpired or expired less than 60 days
-U.S. passport—unexpired or expired less than 60 days
-U.S. military identification with photo
-U.S. citizenship certificate with photo

If you don’t have one of these forms of identification, you’ll have to apply for an Election Identification Certificate (EIC). But in order to acquire an EIC, you have to present your proof of citizenship and a second form of identification. Yes, that’s right, you’ll need to get an ID in order to get an ID — one of many reasons why this law is so completely ridiculous. And all of this on top of the normal voter registration process (which only requires a Social Security Number).

But this is where the serious issue of a poll tax enters into the process.

Any of the above forms of identification will literally cost money to attain, and now you must attain an ID in order to vote. Therefore a Republican state law demands that you pay to vote. [READ MORE]

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  • zirgar

    In one of the darkest recesses of Hell, Lee Atwater is strumming his guitar, smiling…

  • Linda Harris Pettit

    And there aren’t many Department of Public Safety offices statewide that you can easily go to get your identification card. In many cases, for those living rurally, you will have to travel to go get it. I have an office near my house and anytime I have to renew my license it is a long wait in line to get it. Now, there will be that many more people who will have to have a picture ID that will have to travel some distance, pay, and stand in line. The elderly and poor voters will be hard pressed to comply with this law. Great plan for the Republicans.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Is there a fund we can donate to that will help poor people get a state issued ID?

    We need to organize bus loads of people to flood those offices with requests for IDs.

  • Bridgett Cash

    As much as I despise TX I have read that they will issue free voter ID’s to those citizens who need them.

    • Ed Maltais

      But to get that “free voter ID” you need to pay for two other forms of identification first. Did you even read the article?

  • uniqchocolat

    Why wouldnt you have ID anyway? Who ever wrote this was trying to stir up conversation. Unless you lost it. But if you lost it, youd have to get a new one anyway. And that’s typically how it goes when it comes to getting ID. Even when getting a passport, you need two forms of ID to get a passport. It’s always been that way for different official documents.

    • Bubble Genius

      Read the entire article and try again, please.

      • uniqchocolat

        I read the entire article the first time. Maybe you can answer a question for me. Who doesnt have ID? …and if one doesnt have ID, why not? I really dont care either way if they require ID or not to vote. It’s just that when reading that article, all I kept on asking myself was, “Who over 18 doesnt have ID?” If you dont need ID to vote, you’re gonna need it for other things in your life. …so once again…Why wouldnt someone have ID?

        • Bubble Genius

          A lot of older people don’t have ID because they’ve never needed it. You’re telling me you haven’t seen stories of people 80+ who don’t have ID? If you’re poor and take public transportation, you don’t have a drivers license. You almost certainly don’t have a passport. You may or may not still have your birth certificate. I know I don’t have mine.

          I don’t understand what your confusion is here. What are you, fifteen?

          • uniqchocolat

            No, I actually havent heard of the elderly not having ID. and no I’m not a teenager. I wouldnt expect a person without a car to have a DL. But I would think that they would have a state ID. I know about the birth certificate issue. But I’m sure there’s other documents that can be used to get an State issued ID. You need ID to buy liquor, to get a tattoo or piercing. You gon tell me poor people dont drink? Or throughout the old person’s life they never drank? Making sure you have ID is an important thing we all must take care of. I dont know where you live, but I’m from FL. In FL, you can go to jail if you dont have ID on you and that is FACT. look it up. I grew up with that understanding SIR. Now do you understand where the confusion is?

          • Bubble Genius

            Ayup. The confusion is with you, still.

            To obtain a state ID in FL, you need a copy of your birth certificate or a passport to even get to the second step. If you were born outside the US, you can use a consular report or official naturalization/citizenship documents. That’s it.

            So, to get a birth certificate, it’s $9 and you have to know both of your parents full names and the name and location of the hospital you were born in. Oh, and you also need some form of ID, like a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or military ID card.

            Hmmmmmmmmmm.

            So, that answers one question for you. You can’t get ID these days unless you have ID. Oh, I’m sure there are ways around that, like getting affidavits from family members attesting that you are who you say you are, but who can afford legal fees for THAT? And that’s assuming you have family members.

            You only need ID for alcohol and cigs if you look like you’re dancing around the age of 18, and shame on you for assuming that all poor people drink. Many poor families are lucky if they can afford milk to drink, much less anything else. And food stamps can’t be used to buy alcohol. And believe it or not, evidence in Miami notwithstanding, not every single person in America has been pierced and tattooed.

            I’m well aware of stop-and-frisk laws and I think they’re wrong too, as wrong as I do these Voter ID laws, since they are generally aimed at harassing the same people. But clearly you don’t have a problem with either.

            The law says that every American has a right to vote. Any form of obstruction to that end is (or at least should be) against the law.

  • Michael Stuber

    I suggest that every hispanic and black Texas voter apply for a concealed handgun license and be sure to use them exclusively for voting ID. That would scare the pants of the Republicans.

  • Blacktiger

    With all the disasters all over USA there will be millions who will become “ghosts walking”!

  • Barry Roope

    If the State makes a law that requires an ID to vote, the State should provide that ID free of charge. All the money they waste on elections, they should be able to afford their citizens with the required ID card.

  • NakedToad

    What a crock. These are not poll taxes, and there is nothing wrong with
    having to prove who you are before you are allowed to vote. Someone
    illegally showed up and voted in my place one year. The State of
    California did not think that a person should have to prove who they
    are before they are allowed to vote. I was outraged.