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Voter ID Law Snags Former House Speaker – for a Day

Posted By Lisa McElroy On November 4, 2013 @ 6:38 pm In Legal Grounds | Comments Disabled

Many of the lawsuits challenging voter ID laws [1] in the states argue that they have an unequal impact on people of color and poor people.

Turns out, they can prevent pretty much anyone from voting – or at least make it lots more difficult.

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Speaker Jim Wright of Texas [3]Take Jim Wright of Texas. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because he used to be the Speaker of the House. That’s right, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives – one of the most powerful people in the nation’s capital.

But because Wright, who’s now 90, no longer drives, his driver’s license has expired. And because he doesn’t have a valid driver’s license – notwithstanding the fact that he has other forms of p [4]hoto identification [4], including his faculty ID card from Texas Christian University – he wasn’t allowed to get a voter ID card when he tried to do so on Nov. 1.

Unlike many, Wright has access to his birth certificate. He also has transportation. And he lives close to an office that distributes the voter ID cards.

Wright’s assistant, Norman Ritchson, tells me that Wright returned to the Texas Department of Public Safety office on Nov. 3, got his card, and will vote on Nov. 4.

But other older Americans may encounter obstacles that they can’t overcome as easily as Wright did.

“I earnestly hope these unduly stringent requirements on voters won’t dramatically reduce the number of people who vote,” Wright told a newspaper reporter [5] after being sent away. “I think they will reduce the number to some extent.”

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Ritchson agreed. “I’ve been thinking about the people who are in retirement homes,” she said. “I’ve read that this is the lowest early voter turnout in a long time and I wonder if this [ID requirement] is the cause. We’ve tried so hard to make voting easy, and now the Texas Legislature has made it harder by making you have a photo ID.”

 

Photo of Wright in the 1980s: Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives

 

ACA = Affordable Care Act = Obamacare [7]

 

 

 

 

 

Also of Interest

 

See the AARP home page [12] for deals, savings tips, trivia and more

 


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/11/04/voter-id-law-snags-former-house-speaker-for-a-day/

URLs in this post:

[1] voter ID laws: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/30/pennsylvania-voter-id-law-has-another-day-in-court/ ?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[2] >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=19061&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-HLTH

[3] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Speaker_Jim_Wright_of_Texas.jpg

[4] p: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/02/arkansas-requires-picture-id-to-vote-overriding-veto/ ?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[5] told a newspaper reporter: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/11/02/5300503/voter-id-law-snags-former-house.html?rh=1

[6] >> Get discounts on health products and services with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/savings/discounts/health-andamp;-wellness/uSource/HCTN/categoryId/724/subCategoryId/726?intcmp=AE-BL-HEA-DISC

[7] Image: http://healthlawanswers.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-EDO-LNK-HLAW-ENDART-BL-20131011

[8] Meet the Women Fighting a Voter ID Law: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/28/meet-the-women-fighting-a-voter-id-law/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[9] Slideshow: 9 Nasty Things to Throw Away Today: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-04-2013/9-nasty-things-to-throw-away-photos.html#slide1?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[10] Questions about the Affordable Care Act? Get your answers here: http://healthlawanswers.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV

[11] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?keycode=U9ZTPH9&intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[12] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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