Almost before the smoke had cleared at Pearl Harbor, he had enlisted to serve his country in the Army Air Forces. He viewed the war in the South Pacific through the bomb sight of a B-24 Liberator as a second lieutenant and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. When he got home to Texas, he was eventually elected to Congress and served 34 years, including a term as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. But Jim Wright found out the other day he wasn’t qualified to vote in the election in his home state. Wright, who no longer drives at 90, tried to get a voter card under a new Texas law and was told his expired driver’s license and university lecturer’s ID were not adequate proof of his identity. A war hero and former congressman had to go home and dig through old files to return with his birth certificate. Hurrah for the flag of the free? Although there has been only one indicted incident of voter fraud in Texas since 2000, Gov. Rick Perry and the GOP-controlled legislature passed a stringent voter ID law.
Perry had argued impersonators jeopardized the sanctity of elections. There had been, however, only four such cases on file with the Texas attorney general from 2008 to 2010, a brief time span during which 13 million people cast ballots. That data had much to do with the federal courts tossing out the Texas ID law as discriminatory against minorities. But a Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act immediately reinstated the Texas ID law — which by design was intended to discriminate, as a lower court said.
Texas conservatives and other states pushing voter ID laws are facing demographic destinies they cannot avoid. The laws of mathematics might have prompted the laws of discrimination. According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, in 1990, white children younger than 18 outnumbered Latinos in Texas by 843,000. The 2010 numbers were an almost exact reversal with 995,000 more Hispanic kids than whites.
Full Article: Opinion: The sort-of right to vote in Texas – CNN.com.