Republican attempts to use voter identification laws to suppress voting by people more likely to vote for Democrats has created a class of victims it probably was not intended for. Women. Even Republican women. The GOP has tried to thinly veil its efforts by claiming that voter ID laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud, but the figures on voter fraud — which is almost nil everywhere — show that to be a phony excuse. The real reason is to make voting more difficult for blacks, Hispanics, the young, the elderly and the poor, who traditionally tend to vote for Democrats. After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act in June, several states raced to put new voter ID laws into effect. Attention initially focused on the way such laws affected African-Americans and Hispanics. Now the focus of concern is on women. To quote the governor of Texas, a state that’s making harder for women to vote, “Oops.”
Women who are married or divorced will find it more difficult to cast a ballot in upcoming elections in Texas and nine other states: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. These states require specific types of government-issued photo identification that women, in particular, may find difficult to obtain.
The reason is that nearly 90 percent of women change their names when they get married or divorced and frequently wind up with discrepancies between their names on various pieces of identification necessary to get a government-issued voter photo ID.
A 2006 survey, the most recent available, by the Brennan Center for Justice shows that 34 percent of voting-age women do not possess a proof-of-citizenship document that reflects their legal name. Add to this a divorce rate of 40 percent to 50 percent, and it’s easy to see that a lot of women could have a problem at the polls.
Full Article: Editorial: Voter ID laws disenfranchise women : Stltoday.