As all of you know, Texas is one of three states fighting with the Obama Administration over Voter ID laws. In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder has compared a Texas voter ID law to the Jim Crow laws of the 20th Century. While I usually keep this type of article on my blog pages, I decided today that this case has a direct bearing on every Texan and belongs front and center.
First of all, I don’t know how much you know about those horrible JC laws, but I used to teach them. I know them well; I despise them, and they have absolutely nothing to do with the effort to curb voter fraud in Texas, at least in my opinion.
Last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott traveled to Washington D.C. to argue the case there in District Court. In an interview with Fox News, Abbott claimed that the case against Texas is part of an overall scheme “to promote and protect illegal voting in this country…We have proved in Texas that voter fraud exists. We had more than 200 dead people who voted in the last election, and we’ve proved that in court, in addition to the fact that the Voter ID Law will have no disenfranchisement effect on the voters in the state of Texas.
“Despite those facts, you see the Obama Administration trying to protect dead voters, foreign nationals, and others on the voter roles in the state of Texas and across the country…”
Abbott went on to cite a SCOTUS ruling four years ago that upheld a Voter ID Law in the state of Indiana. According to Abbott, his office has now prosecuted over fifty cases of voter fraud and yet it was just this past May that over 200 cases of fraud (dead people voting) were discovered.
“…that voter fraud in South Texas is rampant. It’s a proven problem that needs to be addressed, and voter ID is one of the ways to address it.”
According to Holder, the Texas Voter ID Law could keep as many as 1.4 million Texans from voting in the next election. Hmmmm….
Abbott discounted this statement by stating that Holder was unable to produce even one witness who would be disenfranchised by the law. He also claimed that built into this 1.4 million figure are more than 50,000 dead people, more than 200,000 people who actually live outside of Texas, and several hundred thousand who are age 65 or older and do not need a voter ID.
And just in case you are wondering if Holder’s data is reliable, George W. Bush, Phil Graham, and Kay Bailey Hutchison turned up on the list of Texas folks who would have trouble obtaining an ID. Do you mind if I say Hmmmm again? Abbott was more kind and simply said that the Attorney General’s data was flawed.
Now, to be fair there were two Texas senators who testified that these laws were racially motivated.
Senator Carlos Uresti, District 19 (San Antonio), is one who testified that the law is racially motivated.
Uresti has been in Texas politics since he was elected to the House in 1997. He entered the Senate in 2006, making him an incumbent for the past 15 years.
“Senator Uresti represents the largest geographical senate district in the contiguous 48 states. Senate District 19 spans a 23-county area stretching along the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Antonio to El Paso County. Covering 55,000 square miles, the district contains 62 school districts; spans two time zones; and is larger than 24 states and 25 countries.”
Senator Wendy Davis, District 10 (Fort Worth), seems to be the rags to riches success story upon which this country was built. She too testified that she believed the voter ID law was racially motivated.
Davis entered the Texas Senate in 2009, and she seems to have devoted her time to championing the underdog, which, if you read her story, you will find makes perfect sense, and I assume she sees the voter ID law as some type of threat.
Now, to close up these thoughts, if you go back and do a little research you will find two interesting items. One is the ruling on the Indiana case where the SCOTUS ruled that ID is “race neutral.” The other comes in form of Eric Holder’s own witnesses who stated that it is innapropriate to equate voter ID laws with Jim Crow.
Sooooo….here in Texas, we wait and see.