Many of my liberal friends seem to feel that I have moved to a draconian state in which women, minorities, old people, and probably vegetarians are being systematically disenfranchised as part of a mean Republican plot to win elections.
Of course, it was actually Democrats who once used the law to systematically disenfranchise large swaths of Southern voters, but there is no need to muddy the waters here with the historical record. Today I am only concerned with the horrible impositions the new Texas voter ID law has thrust in 2013 onto weak and easily confused women like me.
Here I detail for you my long-suffering experience.
First, if you were unaware that last Tuesday was an election day with various issues on ballots in states across the country—or you didn’t care—you would be like more than ninety percent of all Texans… and most Georgians. Off year elections have notoriously small turnouts because the issues can seem small.
In fact, in my new district in the Lone Star State, there were only a few constitutional amendments on the ballot along with a basic housing bond, which had already been voted down once in 2012 by the good citizens of Austin.
Now, I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds here, but that last item is germane to any discussion about how political groups—in this case, liberal—often subvert the will of voters. You see powers that support a special interest—like a housing bond—often quietly overturn the will of a majority without ever using anything so publicly demonized as a Voter ID. An apathetic electorate often disenfranchises itself when voters don’t continue to show up, as would be the case in Texas in 2013.
But perhaps I digress from my real focus: the scheming plots of those on the Right who want to undermine the will of women!
On November 5, making the effort to do my civic duty, I got into a short line at the appropriate poll. I pulled out my newly acquired Texas driver’s license. A man noted that my full name was on the voters’ roll, but it was not printed the exact same way on my official government-issued ID.
Was I then thrown out of the place? Told I should drop that pesky maiden name I do so love to bandy about? Not allowed to register my opinion?
I was allowed to fill out a form so that my names would match up exactly in the future. Then I signed an affidavit that said I am, indeed, me. This whole process took an extra thirty seconds of my time before I entered a voting booth.
Incidentally, the guy who was in line directly behind me hadn’t spelled his middle name out on his license either. Perhaps a political party is conducting a war on tall white men in snappy beige blazers? (Alas! He managed to sign an affidavit, too.)
But what if I had shown up with a completely different surname on my driver’s license than the one I’d used to register to vote? I would have cast a provisional ballot and been given six days to return with proof of my identity for that vote to register.
Sure, such an eventuality would have been a pain in my shapely rumpus—as is changing all forms of government documentation like one’s social security card after getting married—but I like to think I would have muddled through it because it is important.
After all, I know women once stood in front of charging horses to gain the right to participate in the political process. It seems a little anticlimactic to me to make a big deal out of having to find my marriage license so I can vote, too.
Regardless, those on the Left who care so much about my trampled-upon interests can put their minds at ease. Whew! Voter ID or not, I figured out how to cast my vote. I’ll continue to do so… even in future elections in which liberal candidates who deploy the demagogic “war on women” mantra like Wendy Davis, for instance, might prefer a politically conservative woman like me to just stay home.