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Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:02 PM

Harsh new Texas voter ID law almost blocks woman judge from voting

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/23/harsh-new-texas-voter-id-law-almost-blocks-woman-judge-from-voting/

A new voter ID law requiring strict uniformity across all forms of identification nearly kept a Texas district judge from being able to cast her ballot in the state’s early voting session. According to Think Progress, Judge Sandra Watts was challenged at the poll when she presented her usual ID.

“What I have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote,” 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts told KIII-TV.

Watts said she has voted in every election for the last 49 years and that her name on her driver’s license has remained the same for the last 52. The address on her license and voter registration card have been the same for more than two decades. However, on Tuesday, at the outset of early voting for the Nov. 5 election, the judge was asked to sign a “voter’s affidavit” saying that she is who she says she is before she would be allowed to vote.

The problem was that her maiden name was listed as her middle name on her driver’s license, whereas on her voter registration card, her actual middle name is listed. This small discrepancy was enough to have her flagged as a potentially fraudulent voter.

Under laws recently adopted by the Republican-led state legislature, anyone whose name differs even slightly from one form of ID to another is automatically flagged for possible vote fraud. The new policy could particularly impact women who now go by married or hyphenated names.

-snip-


I think I will have a similar problem as the judge in the above story. My driver's license is First Middle Maiden-Married.

My voter registration card is First Maiden Married.

Do I need to get my voter ID card changed and how do I do that?

This sucks.

24 replies, 1640 views

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Reply Harsh new Texas voter ID law almost blocks woman judge from voting (Original post)
onestepforward Oct 2013 OP
Ilsa Oct 2013 #1
onestepforward Oct 2013 #3
Ilsa Oct 2013 #6
onestepforward Oct 2013 #7
Gothmog Oct 2013 #4
kentauros Oct 2013 #18
Gothmog Oct 2013 #2
onestepforward Oct 2013 #5
Gothmog Oct 2013 #10
onestepforward Oct 2013 #11
Gothmog Oct 2013 #13
onestepforward Oct 2013 #14
Gothmog Oct 2013 #15
WolverineDG Oct 2013 #17
Gothmog Oct 2013 #19
northoftheborder Oct 2013 #8
onestepforward Oct 2013 #9
Gothmog Oct 2013 #12
DhhD Oct 2013 #16
DhhD Oct 2013 #21
Gothmog Oct 2013 #20
onestepforward Oct 2013 #22
DhhD Oct 2013 #23
onestepforward Nov 2013 #24

Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:14 PM

1. I would re-register to vote so both names are exact if

were you. Make certain addresses are exact (one said "Smith Rd", one said "Smith Dr" on my DL vs VR).

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:19 PM

3. Thanks for the head's up about the address.

Luckily, mine match.

Where do I go to re-register/change my voter ID card?

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:28 PM

6. you can do it online for

certain changes: https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager

But I think the second response to your post should be heeded.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:30 PM

7. Thanks Ilsa!

I'm bookmarking the link.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:25 PM

4. This is not needed so long as the addresses are close

I am a lawyer and I work with my county party on these issues. The postal service changed the zip code for my home a couple of years ago and I never changed my drivers license. Just to be safe (remember I am an attorney), I renewed by drivers license two months early so that I could correct my address.

When you are voting, you may be asked to sign an affidavit and then they will give you a form to change your voter registration to conform to your id. This is no big deal and you should still be allowed to vote.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 24, 2013, 11:48 AM

18. I just noticed I have that "problem" too, but it's an issue between

the Post Office, and the City of Houston. PO says it's "St", while the posted street sign says it's "Dr", and my DL uses "Dr". Who's correct?

I'm still taking my passport with me if it's an issue with them. That should solve any difficulties as it's a federally issued form of ID.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:16 PM

2. It is not that bad

First, please understand that I hate the Texas voter id law and want to see if struck down. In this case, the judge in question was allowed to cast a regular ballot if she signed an affidavit. From the story above

However, on Tuesday, at the outset of early voting for the Nov. 5 election, the judge was asked to sign a “voter’s affidavit” saying that she is who she says she is before she would be allowed to vote.


I live in the same county as Juanita Jean and her husband is the Democratic Party Chair for our county. At one of the training sessions held by the Texas Secretary of State, this issue was discussed and the Texas Sec. of State made a ruling that is being followed. http://www.juanitajean.com/2013/10/21/whats-in-a-name/

However, when the Secretary of State conducted training for election judges in Austin, Texas, it was made very clear that if a woman’s driver’s license and her voter registration has the same first name, address, and DOB, she can sign an affidavit attesting that she is the same person and then she can vote a regular ballot. I know that’s a hassle that women shouldn’t have to do and we should fight it.

Ask women to re-register to vote in the same name that’s on her driver’s license or give her the information she needs to vote a regular ballot. But, please, pretty please, don’t tell her she can’t vote. Unless she’s wearing a “Ted Cruz for God, Junior” button and then softly inform he that she’s going to hell.

Thanks for your cooperation.


I have confirmed that this ruling is being followed in my county with one of the election judges who is working on early voting. My youngest child is going to be an election judge for our precinct and she is going to confirm that this rule is going to be discussed and followed in my county.

Again, you get to caste a regular ballot and that ballot will count. Signing an affidavit should not be a big deal in that every time you vote in Texas you sign the combination form which is in effect an affidavit as to your identity. After signing this ballot, you will be given a chance to change the name on the voting records so that this name matches your drivers' license. If you do this, you will not have any issues in the future.

From what you posted, you should have no problem. I would attempt to vote early so that you have time to correct any issues.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:27 PM

5. Thanks so much, Gothmog!

I will vote early and have my voting record changed to match my driver's license.

I'll update what happens after I do it.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:41 PM

10. Please let me know if you have any problems

One of the reasons that the Secretary of State is being some what reasonable here is that the DOJ and a couple of groups of plaintiffs have sued Texas on this law. The Department of Public Safety and the SOS both have been attempting to be reasonable due to this litigation. If you get jerked around, let me know and I can get this information up to Chad Dunn (the attorney for the State Party and the attorney for one of groups of plaintiffs suing Texas).

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:43 PM

11. I will!

I'll do it as soon as I can and let you know.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:47 PM

13. Which suburb of Houston are you in?

I am in Fort Bend County though I work in Harris

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:49 PM

14. I vote in Harris County.

I'll PM you my suburb.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:52 PM

15. If you have problems, let me know

I will forward this to Lane Lewis and the Harris County Democratic Party. I know the lady who runs the poll watchers for the Harris County Democratic Party (I have trained some poll watchers for her) and I know that they are monitoring these problems.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:26 AM

17. Excuse me but as a woman & an attorney as well

why the fuck should I have to sign an affidavit when a married MAN doesn't? The 19th Amendment doesn't say I have been given the right to sign an affidavit & then have my vote "APPROVED" by someone else. I have the right to VOTE. PERIOD.

The ONLY discrepancy between Judge Watts' Voter ID & Texas DL was the middle name. One used her maiden name & the other used the middle name her parents gave her at birth.

She's a damn judge, & has been for quite some time. (She got elected after I left CC in 2000). There is no way in HELL the elections official AT THE COURTHOUSE did NOT know who she was.

This is voter intimidation & suppression, pure & simple.

You are assuming that all elections officials are on the up & up. They are not, especially in Republican-controlled counties. You think this is no big whoop now, just wait until the general election next year, when the GOP will want to throw out as many uppity wimmins' votes as they can.

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:22 PM

19. The Texas voter id law is stupid but this was not an intended consequence

First, I strongly dislike the Texas voter id law but I base my dislike on the fact that real intent of this law is to steal the vote from the old, the poor and minorities. The current mess with women's maiden name was not an intended consequence of this law but is truly an unintended consequence of the law. The law is really designed to steal the vote from groups who tend to vote for Democrats such as the poor, the old and minorities but due to the stupidity of the design of the law, there is a burden being imposed on women and others with names that do not exactly match the name on the voter rolls.

Second, the Texas Secretary of State is trying to fix this issue. The Secretary of State has a procedure in place where one can vote by signing an affidavit. To vote in Texas under the old law, you have to sign what is called the "combination" form which is an affidavit stating under penalty of law that you are the person listed in the voter rolls and that you are entitled to vote. I have been signing these forms every election since 1976.

My county party chair is Don Bankston (aka Bubba or Mr. Juanita Jean). Don met with our county election office and a representative from the Texas Secretary of State on Wednesday and was told that election judges in Texas are being told to make every effort to let people vote if they have one of the required forms of id and their names or similar names are on the voting rolls. Don and I have both confirmed this with a democrat who is the head election judge for one of the early voting locations. The training for the early voting election judges was consistent with these Secretary of State guidelines.

Please note that Judge Watt was allowed to cast a regular ballot and was not even offered a provisional ballot. This is consistent with the instructions and rulings from the Texas Sec. of State on this issue.

On one hand, I am glad that Greg Abbott and the voter id law is getting bad press. This is a truly horrible law. I want to see the Corpus Christi Federal court overturn this law. On the other hand, I do not want to see the vote suppressed. According to Juanita Jean (I spoke to her this morning), the phone banks for City of Houston Mayor Anise Parker are hearing from women voters that they do not want to vote and have to deal with this hassle. Mayor Parker is a good mayor and I hope that the bad press on this issue does not suppress the vote.

I am convinced that the Sec. of State is trying to fix this issue. Remember that there is litigation pending and one of the effects of this litigation has been to encourage the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Secretary of State office to be less unreasonable.

Please understand that I agree with your complaints. My main concern is that as a practical matter this law's unintended consequence should not prevent any one from voting due to stories about a problem that will not prevent most people from voting. I am more worried about the fact that only 50 Election Identification Certificates (the free ids offered under the Texas law) have been issued so far when there are 1.5 million people who need such ids to vote. Again, the intended effect of this law is to keep the poor, the old and minorities from voting and here the law is working as planned by Greg Abbott and the Texas GOP.

Finally, I am encouraging anyone who has problems voting in Texas to report these problems to the Texas Democratic Party. You file such a report by going to this link http://act.txdemocrats.org/page/s/voter-id





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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:38 PM

8. LOTS of women, maybe most, will have this problem.

I have first, maiden, last on Driver's. On voter's reg. card I have first, maiden initial only, last.

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:40 PM

9. You might want to vote early too

and have your voter record changed at that time.
Let us know how it goes for you!

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:46 PM

12. You should not have a problem if the election judge follows the SOS guidelines

I am Fort Bend County and I have confirmed that the local election officials are using the SOS guidelines. The voter registrar in Harris county is a tea party person and I have a feeling that Harris county will be dealing with people ignoring the SOS rules.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:29 PM

16. The State of Texas made the decision to put the maiden name on the Texas Driver's Licenses

instead of the legal name found in the County Marriage Records. It could be acceptable for this election, to allow the first name, address and voter affidavit, but in the big November 2014 election, GOP could pull off an upset by refusing to honor married women voters cards. I believe that married women voters filled out a paper ballot, and voted Wendy Davis back in to the Senate in 2012. The GOP could use such a trick to keep women from voting in 2014.

Look at your Marriage License. It shows the Record Book number, Volume number and page number where your marriage is recorded at the county court house in the county that you were married in. I sent this information to the Social Security Administration when I changed to a new social security card form my old one with my maiden name on it. It is still the same number of course.

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Response to DhhD (Reply #16)

Thu Oct 24, 2013, 04:19 PM

21. This is voter intimidation because the County and State already have this information about

the name and the alias being the same person. The County and State have provided, by law, the alias names.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:24 PM

20. Please report any issues with voting in Texas to Texas Democratic Party

Please report any issues with the Texas voter id law to the State Party by going to this link http://act.txdemocrats.org/page/s/voter-id

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Thu Oct 24, 2013, 11:08 PM

22. On my local message board,

a woman was questioned because her driver's license had her first name, middle initial, and last name. The voter registration list had her complete middle name spelled out. They didn't know what to do, so she showed them her concealed carry license which had her complete first middle and last name and that matched the voter list, then they let her vote.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 11:14 AM

23. So now we have a County Election Person deciding what a woman's legal name is or voting name is.

The County Election Worker decides if the woman standing in front of them, may vote. That could be verbal abuse/assault through intimidation. Is the voter being accused of fraud? Yes unless they do as the Election Worker tells them to do, in order to vote, or the woman does not vote. I will take down information/notes about the affidavit before signing it. If one does not sign then they may be denied a ballot to vote with. Take down the name of the County Election Worker denying you the ballot. Send the information to the Texas Democratic Party.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2013, 04:01 PM

24. UPDATE: I voted today

I had no problem. My license doesn't match my voter ID, but the poll worker let me vote without signing an affidavit and also offered me a form to fill out to make my ID match my license.

Thanks again, Gothmog. I had some good information going in and I was prepared for any possible problems.

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