It may have taken a while, but Republicans in Texas may be starting to finally realize that women in Texas do not take kindly to being spoken to in a certain tone of voice when it comes to their bodies and sexual conduct.
Following the declaration from Wendy Davis that she intends to run for governor, the GOP are turning to an age-old favorite tactic to throw elections: voter suppression.
From November 5th of this year, women in Texas who wish to vote will be forced to produce a photo ID with a current legal name. On the face of it this sounds like a perfectly reasonable step: if you wish to vote and you have registered, surely you should be required to prove who you are, right? Well, Republicans count on that lack of inquiry to ram through measures like this. But a quick look at the figures suggests that voter-fraud is not quite the looming threat to democracy they make it out to be. According to one study:
“Out of the 197 million votes cast for federal candidates between 2002 and 2005, only 40 voters were indicted for voter fraud, according to a Department of Justice study outlined during a 2006 Congressional hearing. Only 26 of those cases, or about .00000013 percent of the votes cast, resulted in convictions or guilty pleas.”
It is well-known that voter ID requirements hit demographics traditionally allied to the Democrats: Latinos, African-Americans, the working poor, and the elderly. It now appears that women are about to added to that list. These new ID laws will disenfranchise 34% of female voters in Texas, not to mention the minorities and groups previously listed.
There is one reasonable explanation: maybe Republicans are a little but more frightened of Wendy Davies than they are willing to admit.
Watch a PBS report in the story in the video below: