Politics
7:15 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

New Voter ID Law Requiring Extra Documentation For Some

If early voting is an indication, as many as one in four Dallas County voters may have to complete extra documentation when they vote Tuesday.

During the two weeks of early voting Dallas County found hundreds of voters with drivers licenses or photo ID’s that list their names just a little differently than they appear on voter registration rolls. 

Elections Director Toni Pippins-Poole says those voters were asked to initial a box swearing to their identifies.  It’s the same two-minute process that will be followed on Election Day.

Toni Pippins-Poole is elections director for Dallas County.
Toni Pippins-Poole is elections director for Dallas County.
Credit Shelley Kofler / KERA News

  “Whatever (photo ID) you decide to present that name must be identical to what we have on the official polling location list.  If an initial is missed or you present something with your last name first or your first name last, you have to initial that affidavit,”she said.

Voters are being asked to sign affidavits in other counties, too.

Sen. Wendy Davis, a candidate for governor, was among Tarrant County voters who had to initial an affidavit.

“My voter registration card did not exactly match the driver’s license.  My driver’s license has my maiden name (Russell) on it, my voter registration certificate does not,” said Davis who is concerned women whose names have changed because of marriage or divorce will become frustrated with the process and decide not to vote.

Pippins-Poole says in coming weeks those signing affidavits will receive a form in the mail asking them to clarify their names for future elections.

Pippins-Poole says there’s also some ongoing confusion over what counts as a valid voter ID. 

“They are still presenting just their voter registration card.  They’re still presenting their work ID or college ID,” she said.

Work and student cards are not on the approved list of photo ID’s issued by the federal or state government.  Acceptable ID’s include a passport, a military ID, a naturalization certificate, a drivers license, concealed handgun license or an election ID card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

DPS says that statewide it’s issued just 121 of the free ID’s, but it’s fielded more than 1,500 inquiries, most of them from voters who already have valid photo ID’s but are confused about the new process.