Liberal groups are fond of claiming that voter i.d. laws as passed in Texas and in several other states will illegally disenfranchise 'hundreds of thousands' of elderly, poor, and minority voters, and using that argument they have gone to federal court and to the Obama Administration’s obliging Justice Department to try to get the laws overturned.
But an investigation by 1200 WOAI's Michael Board shows those claims might be a little overblown.
Today is the last day to register to vote in the November 5 Constitutional Amendment elections, and both the DPS and the Secretary of State's office have been undergoing major efforts to make sure that free 'election identification certificates' get into the hands of those 'hundreds of thousands' of people who the liberals keep telling us don't have the 'government issued photo i.d. needed to vote.
But it seems that the demand for these documents is not nearly as strong as you have been led to believe.
"According to the latest statistics, 14 election identification certificates have been issued across the state," Tom Vinger a spokesman for the DPS, told 1200 WOAI news.
That's right. Not 140,000, or 14,000 or even 14 hundred. Fourteen. In a state of more than 26 million residents.
Vinger says a couple hundred people have showed up at the mobile sites being set up by the Secretary of State's office in poor and minority neighborhoods across the state, where all these thousands of disenfranchised people allegedly live, but they have been turned away because it turns out they already have the necessary documents.
"Many of the individuals who have inquired about the EIC's already have the necessary documents they need to vote," Vinger said.
Ironically, the 14 people who have received the documents is only two more than the number of times a Brownsville woman has been charged with attempting to vote in last year's Presidential election. The Justice Department, the same Justice Department that says voter i.d. laws are not necessary to enforce credibility at the polls, says a Cameron County woman voted 12 times in last year's elections.
The DPS has kept its drivers license offices in minority and poor neighborhoods open on Saturdays to accommodate what officials thought would be a rush of all of these disenfranchised people trying to get ahold of the photo documents needed.
In additional, the Secretary of State has set up mobile voter registration stations and even sent volunteers door to door in certain neighborhoods to try to make sure that everybody who needs a Voter Identification Card, which is being provided FOR FREE, actually has one.