Supreme Court passes Texas’ controversial voter ID law

Internet+photo+courtesy+of+The+Century+Times

Jon Schulte

Internet photo courtesy of The Century Times

Prayag Bhakar, Staff Writer

As a way to prevent possible voter fraud, the U.S. Supreme Court passed Texas’ voter ID law that requires voters to have one of seven forms of identification on them. The requirement will be in effect for the upcoming November election, but could be changed in the future. This law would also inhibit more voters, mostly minorities, to be eligible to vote.

Opponents say that the law also makes it difficult for more than 600,000 voters to vote due to the fact that they do not own one of the seven forms of identification, such as a gun license or driver’s license.

Social studies teacher Kevin Palmer believes these seven ID forms are not fair to all voters.

“How can you argue that a gun license is a valid ID but you can’t argue that a college or university ID is not?” Palmer said. “That’s because they, being the Texas state legislature, are gearing it towards whom they believe are their electorate, and their electorate are more likely to have a gun license than they are to have a college ID.”

The most common form of these seven is a driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Sophomore Maggie Specth is surprised that so many people do not own a driver’s license.

“It’s crazy that more than 600,000 people don’t have a driver’s license, not only can they not drive, but now they can’t vote either,” Specth said.

Texas does not have driver’s licence offices in almost a third of its counties. Many of these areas have large populations of African American and Hispanics voters. Driver’s license offices in these areas also do not have extended hours, which makes it harder for the working voters who cannot go to get their license.

Junior Nick Hohl believes the laws are unfair for voters in these areas.

“These laws are discriminatory,” Hohl said. “For example, if not everybody gets a piece of the pie, then that’s not really fair to the minorities.”

Due to these issues, reforms were attempted to be passed and make the new law fair and equal for people although they were ultimately struck down by the Texas Supreme Court. This was mainly due to the fact that the voting day is very close and the Supreme Court does not prefer last minute changes.

Palmer thinks that allowing more people to vote is essential.

“I feel we live in a time when we are willing to call ourselves a democracy and revel in the fact that we are a nation with a variety of opinions when that’s just not true,” Palmer said. “We have created a power base in this country that is dominated by money and by excluding people from voting.”