You might have seen the above map making the rounds recently among those opposed to the controversial voter ID law, which first passed in 2011 and was upheld in 2013. It requires voters to present an up-to-date photo ID to election officials. The map, and maps below, were first put together by Dr. Gerald Webster, a geography professor who testified last year against the controversial law amid the flurry of legal challenges.
Despite continued courtroom challenges, it looks like the law will be here to stay at least through the November election. And an interesting pattern emerges when the Dallas map of those who currently lack a photo ID are compared to more general demographics. Check out the nearly identical maps below.
The first map shows the areas of Dallas, mostly southern Dallas, that are predominantly black. Additional maps from Webster's testimony show that north Dallas is mostly white, and that the hispanic population in Dallas is a bit more evenly distributed across the area. The second map shows areas of poverty in Dallas.
The map on the right depicts the voting pattern across Dallas. Time and again, precincts in southern Dallas are predominantly Democrat, while north Dallas precincts are largely Republican. And while it's not news that north Dallas is white, wealthy, and Republican, for the first time, this demographic has a greater chance of having their voices heard in the next large turnout election this November.
The pink map shows that there are only two Department of Transportation office locations, and one mobile location, within the city. And the map below shows that southern Dallas neighborhoods generally also have less access to transportation to be able to get to those DPS stations and obtain a photo ID.
Dallas-area Democrats are predictably out in force to try and get more southern Dallas voters equipped with the necessary photo ID before November. "The nightmare scenario is that we're not successful and that we get a bunch of peope excited to go vote and then don't have an ID," says Taylor Holden, Executive Director of Dallas County Democratic Party.
"The real issue is going to be educating people on photo IDs and getting them those IDs as quickly as possible," she says. "We have not seen voter ID in a high turnout election. We haven't seen it do damage yet."