Horns Down: Voter ID yet to prove its value
Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News reported that thousands of voters had to sign affidavits or cast provisional ballots in the Nov. 5 election — the first statewide election held under the state’s new voter identification law — as their name on the voter rolls did not exactly match the name on their photo ID. Though the paperwork took only a few minutes per person in the Nov. 5 election, officials worry a similar situation will create a backlog in elections which boast a higher turnout — such as the party primaries in March or next November’s general election. Dallas County elections administrator Toni Pippins-Poole said, “If it made any kind of a line in an election with 6 percent [voter] turnout, you can definitely imagine with a 58 percent.” The voter ID law in question was enacted by the Legislature in 2011 and took effect earlier this year. Now Democrats and civil rights groups are trying to overturn the law, claiming it disproportionately affects minorities. According to a September Dallas Morning News analysis, only four of the voter irregularity cases State Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has pursued since 2004 could have been prevented by this new photo ID requirement.