Texas has some of the most repressive voter ID legislation in the nation, with a federal judge recently calling new laws a modern-day “poll tax,” but somehow the voter disenfranchisement measures have been reinstated. As many as 600,000 black and Hispanic voters could be suppressed through the legislation, as well as the elderly, the poor, and many other groups that typically do not vote Republican.
A woman in a same-sex marriage was recently denied a driver’s license — one of the documents required to secure voter identification — because the state refused to recognize that he last name was actually her last name. We’ve also seen a 93-year-old veteran denied the right to vote because he did not have a current driver’s license.
Senator John Cornyn, an outspoken advocate of the restrictive legislation, took to Twitter to mock those his party has disenfranchised with this anathema to democracy.
Cornyn, of course, remains blind to the plight of those affected by the legislation. Unlike his wife, they may have to work all day. Unlike his wife, they may not be able to afford all of the required documentation required to obtain voter identification — such as a driver’s license. Unlike Mrs. Cornyn, they may not be able to afford the travel costs or find the time to wait in line hours at the DMV.
While voters are guaranteed two hours off work to take advantage of their rights, there is no legislation that protects their right to go to the Texas DPS during business hours to obtain the necessary identification.
Unfortunately for our country, this sort of repressive legislation is quickly spreading through our country as we see the rights of our nation’s most vulnerable continually stripped by the party that touts its “values.”