Ex-House Speaker Wright denied voter ID card in Texas
FORT WORTH — Former House Speaker Jim Wright said he was denied a state identification card just before Election Day, which will be the first test of Texas' new voter ID law requiring many voters to obtain the proper documents.
Wright told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he visited a Texas Department of Public Safety office on Saturday to obtain the necessary ID certificate to vote on Tuesday. But his old driver's license, which expired three years ago, and his university faculty ID card were not enough, he said.
“Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn't give me an ID,” Wright said.
He's since arranged to get a valid voter ID in time for the election by presenting a certified copy of his birth certificate. Wright, the 90-year-old Democrat who served 34 years in Congress, said he wondered about others who were not able to get IDs.
“I earnestly hope these unduly stringent requirements on voters won't dramatically reduce the number of people who vote,” he said. “I think they will reduce the number to some extent.”
Election officials say voters who don't have ID can cast a provisional ballot, get the correct ID and show proof to local election officials by Nov. 12.
“We want to make sure that every eligible Texan who wants to cast a ballot can,” said Alicia Pierce, spokeswoman for the Texas Secretary of State's Office. “We want to help any Texan who needs additional information.”
The law will require election judges for the first time to check one of seven government-issued photo ID cards before allowing someone to vote. Whenever there is a mismatch between the election rolls and the ID, an election judge will decide if the information is “substantially similar” enough to allow them to cast a regular ballot.
Supporters say the law stops election fraud. Opponents say it disenfranchises the poor and elderly who can't afford to obtain IDs.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Chick’s Bar in McKeesport catches fire
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- Firefighter hurt in 3-alarm fire at Jefferson Hills restaurant
- None hurt in Duquesne house fire
- Singer Joni Mitchell hospitalized in Los Angeles
- Consol Energy files for IPO of coal spin-off
- Pirates’ search for division title rests on starting rotation’s health
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset