The new law requiring Texas voters show government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot is working as intended, according to state officials. And the proof is in the two weeks of early voting that ended Friday. “I gave my driver’s license and it went as advertised,” Gov. Rick Perry — whose full name is James Richard Perry — told reporters after he voted Wednesday. “The elections are going quite well,” Perry said. “As a matter of fact, we had a substantial bigger turnout from 2011.” This was in reference to the previous vote on constitutional amendments when less than 6 percent of Texas voters went to the polls. This year, the Texas Legislature is asking the electorate to approve nine propositions, particularly one that would allow the lawmakers to withdraw $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to begin funding water projects. However, for state Sen. Wendy Davis, who hopes to replace Perry when his current four-year term expires in early 2015, it was a slightly different experience when she voted Monday. Davis, D-Fort Worth, had to sign an affidavit before voting because the names on her voter registration card and driver’s license are slightly different: Wendy Davis on her voter card and Wendy Russell Davis on her driver’s license. The same thing happened to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the perceived Republican frontrunner in the 2014 gubernatorial race: His name on his driver’s license is Gregory Wayne Abbott but on his voter card it’s Greg Abbott. End of the story in the two-year voter ID fight? Not quite.
Although Perry and other officials say the voter ID law is working, for Davis and other critics of the legislation the Republican-dominated Legislature approved in the 2011 session, what happened to her last week is one of numerous concerns they have with the new law they continue fighting in court.
“There’s a tremendous concern it will create a problem for women who have been legally voting for years to be able to vote … and that they may be surprised by it,” Davis said after casting her ballot, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“I hope the word will get out,” she said. “I hope we will continue to see women vote as they have in Texas.”