While early voting on Monday for the November 5th statewide ballot measure election, Sen. Wendy Davis had to sign an affidavit in accordance with Texas' burdensome new voting restrictions. In 2011, Republicans passed this law, which a federal court later ruled (but before the partial repeal of the Voting Rights Act) was intentionally discriminatory against Latino Texans.
It has another target, too: women. The law burdens women who have changed their maiden names by requiring that they go through extra hoops to prove the name change.
If Republicans had 100 percent of their way, all women whose maiden names created a slight discrepancy between their ID and the voter roll would have had to cast a provisional ballot, conditional on their returning later with proof of the name change.
Luckily, there was a state senator from Fort Worth named Wendy Davis in the Legislature. Sen. Davis wrote a successful amendment that allowed those whose names on the roll and on the form of identification are substantially similar to sign an affidavit swearing that they are the same person, and then vote. That's what Sen. Davis did, since her name appears as Wendy Davis on the state's voter rolls and Wendy Russell Davis on her driver license.
Here's the amendment Davis passed that stems part of the discriminatory effect of this law:
If in determining whether a voter's name is on the list of registered voters the election officer determines that the voter's name on the documentation is substantially similar but does not match exactly the name on the list, the voter shall be accepted for voting as otherwise required by this section if the voter submits an affidavit stating that the voter is the person on the list of registered voters.
Of course, Davis voted against the larger bill because it is entirely unnecessary and designed only to suppress those who are likely to vote Democratic. Even with the amendment, the process to get the proper form of I.D. is often expensive, time-consuming, and prohibitive to voting.
Read more and find out how to make sure your vote is cast at the polls, below the jump.