When I voted last Friday in Houston, I had to cancel the absentee ballot that was sent to be on the account of my sojourning in Boston. I was desperately worried, given the law voting restrictions, that there would be some issue with the casting of my ballot. Fortunately, there was no issue. When my father went to vote, however, that was a different story.
His driver’s license bears his full middle name, whereas his voter registration merely contains the middle initial. Evidently, this creates the risk of voter fraud, but since the names are “substantially similar,” he signed an affidavit confirming his identity and was allowed to cast a ballot. As Burnt Orange Report reminds us, the original bill would have required these individuals to cast provisional ballots, meaning they would be forced to return to the polls to produce a different ID in order for their ballots to be counted.
It was State Senator Wendy Davis who introduced an amendment to the bill creating the exception for “substantial similarity.” Thus, it was a fortuitous occurrence that when Davis herself voted, she had to sign the affidavit because of a discrepancy involving her maiden name. But it is not just Davis. Attorney General Greg Abbott will have that problem as well, for a similar reason as my father.
The Voter ID has never been about preventing voter fraud, in no small part because voter fraud does not exist. Rather, it has been a thinly-veiled effort to lower turnout. When you combined Jim Crow-esque tactics with the painfully lazy Democrat voters in Texas, it results in an ideal situation for Republicans.
UPDATE: State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a possible Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, also had to sign the affidavit.