- We may be in an election off-year, but new voter-ID laws are still mucking up many a eligible citizen's right to hit the polling booths.
- Texas's new voter-ID law, which went into effect on Tuesday (a day after early voting began in the state), has inspired quite a bit of acrimony.
- The law might disenfranchise a third of the state's women voters, who might not have identification that matches their current legal name...
- ... including this judge, who has voted without a hitch for five decades.
- Republican women might just be the most affected by these voter ID laws.
- Transgender men and women may also have difficulties voting because of discrepancies in names on their IDs.
- Hispanics in the state are 46 to 120 percent less likely to have a government-issued ID than white residents.
- All this grief for a problem we have yet to find. As Paul Burka puts it, "I am compelled to point out that voter fraud is a solution in search of a problem. Except for rare incidents, such as those involving ACORN a few years back, voter fraud is next to nonexistent ... You have to be really stupid to show up at the polls with a fake I.D. Impersonating another voter is not a successful strategy for fixing elections."
- And yet, the Republican attorney general candidate still finds it prudent to campaign on creating a Voter Fraud Task Force if he gets elected by the few people who actually make it to the polls.
- Meanwhile, Judge Richard Posner, who upheld the voter ID law in Indiana that set off this trend, realizes he made a huge mistake. The New York Times paraphrases: "In a new book, he writes that he was 'guilty' of upholding a law 'now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.' Had he spoken those words a few years ago, the landscape of voter-ID laws might look very different."
- Professor Richard Hasen hopes this is a sign of a new trend, where judges begin questioning the epidemic of laws that threaten to disenfranchise citizens across the country.
- Change likely won't happen soon, however, not at the rate these laws are being enacted.
- In Alabama, a voter-ID law passed in 2011 is getting ready for the midterms now that it won't have to face preclearance thanks to June's Supreme Court decision.
- The Tennessee Supreme Court just upheld a voter-ID law in that state (although some representatives are still set on stopping it).
- Pat McCrory, who signed perhaps the most restrictive voter-ID law in the country this summer, didn't really pay attention when the legislature was debating the issue apparently.
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