Dallas County DA Craig Watkins Holds Twitter Town Hall on Voter ID Ahead Of Election

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Dallas County DA Craig Watkins held a Twitter Town Hall on his participation in the voter ID lawsuit against the state of Texas. The new law will be in effect for the November Constitutional election and is expected to place an unnecessary burden on communities already less likely to make it to the polls, African Americans and Hispanics.

The additional plaintiffs in the suit filed by Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department include the Texas League of Young Voters, the Mexican American League Legislative Caucus and the NAACP. The suit contends the there is both discriminatory intent and effect which are violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that the right to vote is abridged based on race contrary to the 14th and 15th Amendments. Other arguments against the Texas voter ID law equate the additional barrier to a poll tax in violation of the 24th Amendment as well as a violation of our 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law and an undue burden on political expression (1st Amendment).

The focus for the Justice Department and the other parties to the suit is to: permanently block the implementation of the law, have Texas “bailed in” to preclearance coverage under section 3 of the Voting Rights Act, and allow for the appointment of federal election observers.

Click below the jump to see some of the best tweets from Watkins' Town Hall and find out what you'll need to vote this November…The evidence of discrimination that the suit brings forth mirror the reasons the GOP should be very concerned about their ability to broaden their base for future elections. The suit points to anti-immigrant rhetoric in legislative debates and public statements, and the fact that Hispanics and Blacks disproportionately lack IDs. Almost 11% of registered Hispanic voters do not have the necessary identification to vote under the new law and yet in the last decade there have been only 26 estimated cases of voter fraud.



Democrats challenging the law seem confident that they will get a fair hearing from U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, who was appointed by Obama in 2011. But if the law does remains in place for the Constitutional election here is what you will need:

In order to vote in Texas, you will need to bring ONE (1) of the following

documents to your polling place:

• TX Driver's License issued by DPS

• TX Personal ID card issued by DPS

• TX concealed handgun license issued by DPS

• US military ID card showing your photo

• US Certificate of Citizenship or US Certificate of Naturalization showing

your photo

• US passport book or card

• Election ID Certi?cate (EIC) issued by DPS

Important to note:

• All documents except the citizenship certificate must be no more than 60

days expired when presented at the polls.

• People with disabilities can apply for an exemption to this requirement. To

apply.

• Your name on your ID must exactly match your name on the registered

voters list. If it does not, but is “substantially similar,” you will be allowed

to vote after initialing a column on the sign-in sheet at the polls. If it is

not “substantially similar,” you will be allowed to vote provisionally.

How To Get an ID:

Go to a Department of Public Safety office and tell them “I want a FREE

Election ID Certificate.”

You must bring with you:

• Your Birth Certificate• OR another document verifying citizenship

• AND any Two (2) of the following:

o Social Security card

o Voter registration card

o School records

o Medicare or Medicaid card

o ID card issued by a government agency

o Unexpired insurance policy

o Expired Texas ID

Below are some highlighted tweets from Wednesday's Town Hall:

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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