Texas Voter ID Law Will Work Just Fine. Except for 200,000 People. In One County.
Nobody needs to worry about Texas's new voter ID law -- at least, nobody except for the god-knows-how many people who end up in long lines while poll workers help people sort through the problems resulting from the new voter ID law. Just to be on the safe side, the Dallas County elections departmentmailed notices to roughly 200,000 voters to inform them that they may face problems at the polls, since their names on the voting rolls don't exactly match the names on their state-issued photo IDs. And that's just one county. But even if that results in some voters deciding to give up in response to long lines and delays, that's a small price to pay to prevent vast numbers of acts of voter fraud, which may number in the high single digits.
The county sent out the notices to remind people of the law's requirement that the name on their photo ID must be an exact match to the name in the voter registration database, so they can either fix the problem before the March 4 primary election or at least be ready to take extra long at the polls. Voters whose names on the two documents are "substantially similar" can fill out an affidavit allowing them to vote, but it will slow things down some. So apparently we're just supposed to believe that somebody like gubernatorial candidate "Greg Abbott" on the voter rolls is the same person as this guy with "Gregory Wayne Abbott" on his driver's license.
The stupid requirement is especially likely to affect gyno-American voters, who because of marriage often have all sorts of different crazy names on their documentation, like Judge Sandra Watts, who had trouble voting last November because through some witchcraft, the voter roll uses her married name for her middle name, but her driver's license lists her maiden name for her middle name.
And so, at a cost of $79,000, Dallas County sent all those letters to let people know they'd better not be fraudy. The county commission also voted to join a lawsuit against the state law, because with 1.2 million voters, there's a lot of people whose ability to vote could be affected by long lines:
It only takes a minute or two to complete the affidavit. At the same time, voters can fill out a second form to change their names in the county database, resolving the problem once and for all. But that takes another minute or two.
All those minutes add up.
Consider the case of Arthur Ullman, of Irving -- if that is his real name, even:
Arthur Ullman went to the polls in November knowing that his name matched on his driver’s license and voter registration card. Still, he said, an election official told him there was a problem with some conflicting information.
Ullman went ahead and filled out a form to fix the apparent error. And now — somehow — his voter registration card lists his driver’s license number as his middle name.
County officials say that's probably due to a data-entry error. Likely story, Mr. TX999787-D8421!
But again, longer lines and inconveniences that may lead some to give up on voting altogether are well worth preventing elections from being stolen by imaginary fake voters, right? Especially if they're women and minorities.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. That's not even close to the name on his driver's license.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.