The new Texas voter ID law had one effect with which neither side can quibble. It got Fort Worth in the national news for something besides our weather or being forever and famously known as the place where former Baptist Sunday school teacher Willie Nelson lit up his first joint. Before the Nov. 5election, Fort Worth was ground zero for Voter ID law news. Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ signing of an affidavit when she voted early and former Speaker of the U.S. House Jim Wright’s problems in getting a state-issued personal identification card both made national news. But what hasn’t been covered nationally or even locally is how the law’s implementation, at least in Tarrant County, wasn’t quite ready for prime time.
One election judge in a precinct near downtown tried to school me on the ins and outs of the law while he ate a fried chicken take-out lunch. He told me that if a voter showed up with an ID bearing a name that was “substantially similar” to what appeared on the voting rolls but that the addresses were the same on both the ID and the registration card, the judge could decide whether to have the voter initial the affidavit. Wrong!
The next day, Tarrant County Elections Administrator Steve Raborn confirmed that the judge was in error, and he didn’t seem very surprised about it. The similar addresses have nothing to do with whether the affidavit is required. And it is not up to the judge to decide. If the names are similar but not identical, the voter still must initial to affirm his or her identity.
Full Article: Keystone Election Kops – Fort Worth Weekly.