Senator Wendy Davis, the first legitimate Democratic aspirant to statewide office in years, couldn't vote without first signing an affidavit verifying her identity Monday morning.
That's because a state law passed in 2011 requires for the first time that voters provide a valid photo ID. So why did Davis get snagged? It wasn't because she didn't bring an ID. According to KERA, voter registration records list her as Wendy Davis. But her driver's license includes her maiden name: Russell.
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Under the law, the name on a voter's ID must be identical to the name in voter registration records. This has become a widely reported problem among women because they may have recently married or divorced and haven't updated their information. The law's supporters say it is intended to prevent voter impersonation, which would be the most inefficient method of voter fraud. State Attorney General Greg Abbott launched an investigation of voter fraud in Texas. Between 2002 and 2012, there were a grand total of 50 cases. Only two of the cases were for voter impersonation. Another 60 percent resulted in deferred adjudication, acquittal and pretrial diversion.
Those opposed to the law say it's a way to prevent those who might skew Democrat from voting.
Davis isn't the only official who has run into resistance at the polls. "What I have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote," 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts told KIII-TV in South Texas.
This is the first statewide election since the law has been in effect. If you're headed for the polls, here's a list of acceptable forms of photo ID. Interesting that a concealed handgun permit is acceptable, while a student ID from a state university is not.