Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I flagged this story yesterday, but now we have a real-life example of a woman being disenfranchised of her vote by Texas' voter I.D. law solely because of how her name appears on photo I.D. And she is a judge.
Steve Benen reports When the war on voting meets the war on women:
Rick Hasen flagged a remarkable story
out of Corpus Christi, Texas, where the state’s new voter-ID law –
imposed after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – is
causing problems for women who use maiden names or hyphenated names. A
local district court judge experienced the problem first hand.
“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 said.
Watts has voted in every election for the last 49 years. The
name on her driver’s license has remained the same for 52 years, and the
address on her voter registration card or driver’s license hasn’t
changed in more than two decades. So imagine her surprise when she was
told by voting officials that she would have to sign a “voters
affidavit” affirming she was who she said she was.
“Someone looked at that and said, ‘Well, they’re not the same,’” Watts said.
The difference? On the driver’s license, Judge Watts’ maiden
name is her middle name. On her voter registration, it’s her actual
And that alone was enough to trigger a red flag. Under Texas’
new law, Watts had trouble voting for the first time in her life, all
because of a ridiculous ID law that was approved by Republicans to stack
elections in their favor.
Remember, over the last 13 years, tens of millions of votes
have been cast in Texas, and the grand total of documented instances of
voter fraud is one – not one percent,just one guy.
According to a 2006 study by the Brennan Center for Justice, a third of all women have citizenship documents that do not match their current legal name.
UPDATE: Judge Sandra Watts was the interview on MSNBC's The Last Word with larence o'Donnell on Wednesday night. Judge Watts would be the perfect plaintff for a 14th and 19th amendment challenge to Texas' voter I.D. law. C'mon Judge, let's sue!