By any measure, Mario Rubio went to great lengths to vote last fall. Though he was in a rehab center after developing an infection during surgery, Rubio, a 60-year-old resident of Austin, Texas, asked the facility’s director whether a trip to the polls could be arranged. But he had given his wallet with his driver’s license to his brother for safe-keeping when he went to the rehab center, meaning he didn’t have an acceptable photo identification under the state’s strict voter ID law. As a result, after waiting in a van for over an hour and a half, Rubio was forced to cast a provisional ballot, even though he had plenty of other identification. A day later, Rubio was transferred to a different facility. But the papers he’d been given telling him where to send a copy of his ID in order to make his provisional ballot count weren’t transferred with him. That left him unable to validate his provisional ballot within the 6-day time frame provided by the law. Rubio later got a letter telling him his vote was thrown out.
Rubio is a regular voter—he described himself as an independent who is “semi-conservative”—and he said the experience left him feeling “pissed off.”
“I really went through a lot of effort to vote,” said Rubio, who msnbc located via the Brennan Center for Justice, which, along with the U.S. Justice Department and other groups, is challenging the law in court. “You have to understand, I had just gone through surgery. I wasn’t feeling good, and I was still trying to recoup from surgery, and then I have to wait ninety minutes, two hours in a van—and then my vote doesn’t count.”
Of course, Rubio was far from alone in being stymied by his state’s ID law. It’s impossible to say how many people it stopped from voting last fall, but around 600,000 disproportionately non-white registered Texas voters—and around 1.2 million eligible voters in the state—lack the ID required under the law. (MSNBC spoke to a number of disenfranchised would-be voters last fall, and the Brennan Center has itself publicized several other stories.)
Full Article: Right to vote at stake in Texas voter ID appeal | MSNBC.