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AG, State Sen and Gov Hopeful Wendy Davis All Forced to Sign Affidavits To Vote Under TX Voter ID Law

Yesterday, Burnt Orange Report reported that Wendy Davis had to sign an affidavit to vote, since "Wendy Russell Davis" (the name on her driver license) and "Wendy Davis" (the name on her voter registration) don't match.

Turns out Greg Abbott, the Republican Attorney General, also had to sign an affidavit to vote. His license reads "Gregory Wayne Abbott" and his voter record "Greg Abbott."

The irony? Abbott has Wendy Davis to thank for it. Davis authored the amendment that allowed for this affidavit procedure when a voter's name on the rolls does not match the name on their ID exactly but is "substantially similar." So, Greg Abbott owes Davis a huge "thank you" for being able to vote in spite of his party's voter-disenfranchising photo ID law.

And again today, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a Democrat from Texas' 26th District, had to sign her affidavit to vote in the 2013 Constitutional Amendment election.

Van de Putte sponsored Props 1 and 4 (giving military families certain tax exemptions) in the State Senate as chair of the Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, and yet even she faced hurdles in exercising her right to vote for the measures she helped put on the ballots.

Van de Putte posted about her experience at the polls on Facebook today:

I went to vote today, and sure enough, as I expected, I got flagged because my drivers license did not match the voter rolls (I began voting when I was Leticia San Miguel, and that's what is still on the rolls).

I had to sign an affidavit swearing to my identity, and hold up the line while I filled out a form asking that the voter rolls be changed to match my ID. I'm so glad my fellow Senator Wendy Davis authored the amendment allowing voters with non-matching names that are "substantially similar" to just sign the affidavit and cast a normal ballot. Otherwise, I'd have had to use a provisional ballot, which would then require me to report to the Bexar County voter registrar within six days of the election to verify my identity before my vote could be counted.

Remember: Once you enter the voting location, VOTE, NO MATTER WHAT. Even if you don't possess the proper ID, you still may cast that provisional ballot as a last resort. Don't let anything stop you from voting!

People of Texas should not be deterred by this photo ID law. Texans still can - and must - exercise their right to vote.

Here's the official rule on name-change from the Secretary of State's website:

"As long as the names are substantially similar, all a voter will have to do is initial to affirm he or she is the same person who is registered" said Secretary Steen. "Poll workers have been trained to account for names that might be substantially similar but not an exact match due to a number of circumstances including the use of nicknames, suffixes, and changes of name due to marriage or divorce."

..."A voter without an approved form of photo ID will have the option to vote provisionally" said Secretary Steen. "A provisional voter will then have until the sixth day from Election Day to go to the county voter registrar to present an approved ID."

Many Texans already have an approved form of photo ID. The seven forms of approved ID 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

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place. For more information about voting in Texas, including the requirements of photo ID, visit www.VoteTexas.gov.

 

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