|The leadership at DPS hasn't been doing the department any favors lately.
During the special session, DPS confiscated tampons from women visiting the Senate gallery, and claimed to have confiscated "jars of feces and urine," which ended up not being true, or (at best, and it's a stretch) at least impossible for them to prove. Troopers were also caught performing illegal roadside cavity searches of women's genitals. And most recently DPS Director Steve McGraw refused to apologize for a DPS officer who shot and killed two innocent, unarmed men from a helicopter.
Now, DPS seems intent to interfere with every American citizen's right to vote.
The policy to run a warrant check on individuals seeking a free ID in order to vote suggests that the department specifically wanted to deter certain individuals from accessing the documents they need to enfranchise themselves. DPS is supposed to issue the ID's at no cost, but this policy could well serve as a greater deterrent to anyone who already can't afford to pay for an ID.
Such a policy would have the most significant impact on the very low-income Texans who can't afford an ID, and may well not be able to afford outstanding traffic tickets or parking fines. In the United States we don't bar people from voting if they have outstanding warrants. And given the individuals that the criminal justice system disproportionately targets, it's clear that this policy -- like so many others in Texas -- would again cause the most harm to minorities and low-income individuals.
Forcing individuals to pay for an ID in order to vote is a poll tax. Offering said individuals a free ID but proffering the threat of arrest in the process doesn't really make it much better.
Dissuading individuals from procuring the ID they need to vote with the implicit threat of arrest isn't just wrong, it runs against everything this democracy is supposed to stand for. Shame on you, DPS, for even considering such a policy and attempting to come between voters and their right to cast a ballot.
For more information on what you need to vote, check out GotIDTexas.org and make sure you're ready to cast your ballot this November.