Tags: jim wright | denied | voter | id | texas

Former Speaker Jim Wright Denied Texas Voter ID

Sunday, 03 Nov 2013 10:38 PM

By Greg Richter

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Texas' voter ID rules are so tough that former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright wasn't able to obtain one on Saturday.

Wright, who is 90, hasn't had a valid driver's license for the past three years, so he showed his faculty ID from Texas Christian University, where he teaches. But that wasn't good enough to get a voter ID card needed to vote in Tuesday elections.

“Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn’t give me an ID,” Wright told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He intends to return to the Texas Department of Public Safety Office on Monday with a birth certificate.

"I earnestly hope these unduly stringent requirements on voters won’t dramatically reduce the number of people who vote,” Wright said. “I think they will reduce the number to some extent."

Wright, a Democrat, fought poll tax laws in his early career that were designed to keep blacks from voting. Democrats charge the new voter ID rules pushed by Republicans are a new attempt to suppress black voting. Republicans insist they are to prevent voter fraud.

The law is also affecting the two expected candidates for Texas governor next year. State Sen. Wendy Davis had to sign an affidavit to cast an early vote last week because the name of her driver's license includes her maiden name and her voter ID card does not.

Davis, a Democrat, is expected to face Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott for the top state office. Abbott, too, has a slightly different name on his driver's license and voter ID card, USA Today reports.

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