Texas’ new voter ID laws could cause voting delays of up to six hours in upcoming elections. About 14,000 voters were delayed while attempting to vote in Dallas County on Nov. 5, the Dallas Morning News reported. Thousands of Texas voters signed affidavits or cast provisional ballots because their name on the voting rolls didn’t exactly match their name on their photo ID. The affidavit testifies that the voter is who they say they are. If a voter refuses to sign an affidavit, they could cast a provisional ballot. The number of provisional ballots — 1,365 — is more than double the number from a similar election in 2011. It is unclear how many people signed affidavits, but two of the leading candidates for Texas governor in 2013, Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis, both had to sign them. Davis’ driver’s license reads “Wendy Russell Davis,” while Abbott’s says “Gregory Wayne Abbott.”
With small disparities between ID and voter rolls, 13,903 people signed affidavits in Dallas County alone.
With many voters delayed several minutes, that time adds up, election officials say. In November, during local elections, the turnout was only 6 percent. In a high-turnout election, the time needed to process voters could be insurmountable.
“If it made any kind of a line in an election with 6 percent [voter] turnout, you can definitely imagine with a 58 percent,” Dallas County elections administrator Toni Pippins-Poole told the Morning News.