By Mimi Marziani, Voter Protection Director
In Corpus Christi, the arguments are wrapping up in a court case involving the Texas voter ID law.
While the court’s verdict is still out, the evidence is clear — the Republican photo ID law is unjust and unnecessary. African-American voters are roughly twice as likely as Anglo voters to lack acceptable ID; Hispanic voters are 40 to 50 percent more likely to not have the type of ID needed to vote. And the state’s “free” IDs, which are supposed to ensure that no eligible voter is kept away from the polls, almost always require voters to pay out-of-pocket costs. Plus, the state failed to present any credible evidence that this law is needed.
Sammie Luis Bates, a witness in the case, had to choose between putting food on her table and saving up for the documents she needed to get an acceptable ID. Ms. Bates explained that she must put money toward whatever is most “urgent at the time” — but “we couldn’t eat the birth certificate, and we couldn’t pay rent with the birth certificate.” That’s just plain wrong. Our country decided long ago that democratic participation is not reserved for the rich.
We cannot let the Republicans stop us from voting. Our team has more than 28,000 volunteers across the state, talking to their friends, registering their neighbors to vote, and answering questions about the voting process. We’ve also launched the most expansive Voter Protection program in Texas history — with a statewide Voter Protection Hotline and volunteer lawyers at the polls.
Remember: This courtroom fight is just one important battle. We’ll win the war by continuing to fight hard on the ground. Unlike Texas Republicans, we know that Texas is best when every eligible voter casts a ballot that counts.
If you’re mad about the Texas GOP’s photo ID law — or upset about their recent efforts to stamp out voter registration drives or offended by their calls to repeal the Voting Rights Act — it’s time to put that energy to good use. Get involved with our Voter Protection efforts today.