Texas voter ID law in effect
This fall, the Texas Voter ID law will take full force and effect. The Supreme Court voted, six to two, not to stop it. The usual suspects complained about it. They suggested Texas meant to stop people from voting. True: Texas did mean to stop people from voting. Illegal voters.
How does the Texas voter ID law read?
The Texas voter ID law simply says no person in Texas may vote without a valid photographic identity card. The Texas Secretary of State has two sites that list the kinds of ID a Texas election district board will accept:
- A Texas driver’s license
- A Texas Election Identification Certificate. The Texas Department of Public Safety (their State Police) issues those, as it issues drivers’ licenses.
- A Texas Personal ID Card. The Texas DPS often issues those to Texas residents who can’t drive.
- A Texas concealed handgun license.
- A U.S. military ID, if it has a photograph.
- A U.S. citizenship certificate, also if it has a photograph.
- A U.S. passport
In short, a Texan, to vote, must show he or she:
- Is who (s)he says (s)he is,
- Lives where (s)he says (s)he lives, and
- Is a citizen of the United States.
What could be simpler? Or more just?
What the courts said
But unaccountably, a federal district court in Texas, on October 9, called the Texas voter ID law a “poll tax.” That phrase becomes relevant because in the election to come, Texas voters will elect a Senator and 36 Representatives. Amendment XXIV says a State may not stop a person from voting in a Federal election for not paying a poll tax or any other tax.
But the Texas voter ID law is not a poll tax. If a person already has a license to drive, or carry a gun, the law covers them. Even if they don’t, the Texas DPS will issue the Election ID free of charge. (In fact, a Texan can get an election ID from a mobile location in any of 45 Texas cities. A bus, with equipment to make an ID, will stop at several places according to a readily available schedule. (The DPS lists here the kinds of identification a voter needs to get a photo ID.) So those who complain they can’t get to a DPS office to get an ID have no complaint.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the district court ruling. Reason: the court made a mistake trying to change the election law less than thirty days before the election. The Supreme Court, last weekend, saw no reason to second-guess the Fifth Circuit. So for the first time, Texas will hold an election for State-wide offices (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, etc.), a Senator, and 36 Representatives with a voter ID law in effect. And people will readily see the Texas voter ID law does no harm to a legitimate, bona fide Texas resident.
Why the Texas voter ID law matters
Sometimes your enemies will alert you to your strengths. And the enemies of the Texas voter ID law made its strengths plain. Eric Holder charged the Texas legislature “designed” the law “to discriminate.” The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said:
Today’s decision means hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in Texas will be unable to [take part] in November’s election because Texas has erected an obstacle course designed to discourage voting.
False. But that liberals would make that charge, shows what a monkey wrench the Texas voter ID law throws into their real plans.
Dick Morris laid those plans out today in his “Lunchtime Alert.” Holder, charged Morris, has told “every [election clerk] in every county” that when a voter fails to show positively that he is alive and still lives at the address of record, they still may not strike that voter’s name from the voter rolls for four years. With the result that those rolls have many names of voters who have died or moved out. Then, says Morris, ACORN (or whatever they call themselves today) recruits illegal aliens to pose as those voters. Without a photographic ID, no precinct-level election judge, inspector, board member, or challenger can tell whether the person showing up to vote, and the person in the voter roll, are one and the same person. (This correspondent knows. He has worked as a district election inspector in several New Jersey school, off-year State, Federal, and Presidential elections. Many voters complained about still getting sample ballots mailed to them in the name of their dead relatives, or the voter(s) they bought their houses from. And the same names showed up, year after year after year, in the election roll book.)
Morris gave a stark figure: thirty-five thousand voters in North Carolina seemed to have voted twice: once in North Carolina and again in another State. Not to mention the counties that, in the Election of 2012, had more votes cast than their total adult populations.
But if the person showing up must show a photo ID, they cannot pose effectively as someone else. Not unless ACORN takes a crash course in theatrical make-up.
So, yes, the Texas voter ID law will stop some voters from voting. That is, it will stop illegal voters from impersonating voters who have in fact died or moved out-of-State. (Actually, Texas has more to worry about from ACORN’s workers impersonating the dead than impersonating people moving out. People moved into Texas in droves ahead of the 2010 Census.)
When a voter dies, his vote dies with him. It does not transfer to some illegal alien or other stand-in.
And when a voter moves out-of-State, his vote moves with him. It does not leave a copy of itself for a stand-in to use.
Let the Brennan Center, Eric Holder, and Barack Obama accept that and move on.