Friday, November 15, 2013

134.3 - Poetic justice on Voter ID

Poetic justice on Voter ID

Another part of this assault on The Commons, of course, is Voter ID, the efforts across a number of states to make it harder and harder for certain voters - specifically, any sort of even vaguely liberal- or left-leaning voters - to cast ballots. It's all part of the plan.

Well, on the Voter ID front comes a little bit of poetic justice.

A new, restrictive voter identification law has just gone into effect in Texas. It's restrictive enough that it's under federal challenge as discriminatory.

It now develops that on November 2, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has defended the law in court and is expected to be the GOPpers nominee for governor next year, went to register under the new law and, um, couldn't. At least not without a hassle. His name on his driver's license, which he presented as ID, reads Gregory Wayne Abbott - but his name on the voter rolls is listed as Greg Abbott, and that difference would have been enough to prevent him from voting. He had to sign an affidavit swearing that "Gregory Wayne Abbott" and "Greg Abbott" are both him.

What makes this particularly delicious is that under the original GOPper bill, an affidavit wouldn't have been enough: Instead, Abbott would have had to produce legal documentation of a name change - something he obviously would not have had since he hadn't changed his name.

The reason he could go the affidavit route is due to an amendment to that bill proposed by State Sen. Wendy Davis, who opposed the bill but bit manage to get this attempt to soften its impact through. Who is Wendy Davis? She's the woman who gained recognition with a 13-hour filibuster against a restrictive anti-choice bill - and is predicted to be Abbott's opponent in the governor's race.

That is, the likely GOPper candidate for governor next year would have been blocked from voting under a law he supported but for the effort of the likely Democratic candidate for governor next year, who opposed the bill he supported.

There is still the issue of the potential disenfranchisement of significant numbers of women whose names changed when they got married or divorced - which I have said before is, I believe, part of the point of the restriction. But just for the moment, let's appreciate the irony.


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