With Voter ID in Effect, Edinburg Voters Cast Ballots

Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune, August 29, 2013

This Rio Grande Valley city is supposed to be the epitome of a community whose residents could be marginalized by the state’s voter ID law, according to opponents of the recently implemented measure.

The median household income here is about 20 percent less than the state’s $50,100 average, and the population is about 88 percent Hispanic, according to U.S. census figures. It is people in these demographics—the lower to middle classes and minorities—who would be disenfranchised by the 2011 law, critics argued.

The first day of early voting Wednesday in the three-candidate City Council race here only yielded about 400 votes, but some citizens who voted said they didn’t see a problem showing an ID to cast a ballot. And despite the war being waged over the measure between the state’s attorneys and the U.S. Department of Justice, the battle lines didn’t trickle down to many of the voters here.

“I didn’t have a problem,” Dina Martinez said. “I didn’t know about [the new law].”

Others said they were reminded of the rule change through announcements in regional newspapers, but they didn’t see a problem with the effort because it would help clamp down on the alleged voter fraud they say they hear about in local elections.

“I think it’s a great idea because it prevents any fraud,” said Ray Molina, whose younger brother, Richard Molina, is one of the candidates. John de la Garza and Armando Marroquin round out the rest of the ballot. Early voting ends Sept. 10, and the general election is Sept. 14.

The voter ID law had been on hold until a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for its implementation. {snip}

The Texas secretary of state’s office, which oversees elections in the state, has not received any complaints or concerns from Edinburg, said Alicia Pierce, an agency spokeswoman. She added that during a recent Galveston school district election, which also required voters to provide photo IDs, there were no reports of problems.

Lucy Alvarado, who leans Democratic but said she tries to be independent during general elections, said the state allows enough options that people shouldn’t complain. Voters can furnish a state-issued ID, driver’s license or concealed handgun license; a military ID, a U.S. passport or passcard; a citizenship or naturalization certificate; or an election identification certificate.

{snip}

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  • GeneticsareDestiny

    Legal citizens of all races generally don’t mind showing ID to vote. Almost all of them already have an ID since you need one to drive, buy cigarettes, buy alcohol, etc.

    The only people who hate showing ID are illegals and their Democratic white liberal friends who are addicted to the ever-increasing stream of illegal votes.

  • Puggg

    Photo ID is required for so many things now days that if you don’t have a photo ID, you’re non functional. Not that we needed stories like these, but this story proves that the whole hoopla over photo ID and resisting it is all the whet the whistle for vote fraud.

    • In our state, you need photo ID to buy canned compressed air duster.

    • MBlanc46

      And I must say that, in my view, the constant demands for a photo ID is not a mark of a free society. “Show me your papers” is a phrase associated with totalitarian states.

      • SFLBIB

        In my view, a free society puts criminals behind bars and honest folk are on the outside. Through conscious non-enforcement of the law by the courts, honest folk in America are forced more and more to put themselves behind bars [e.g., gated communities] to make their lives halfway safe from criminals.

        • MBlanc46

          Can’t disagree with that.

    • IstvanIN

      This weekend I saw a doorman at the entrance to a bar swiping drivers licenses before he let the people in. He had some box in his hand, an electronic gizmo to record all the customers I suppose. Creepy. Glad I don’t drink.

      • Puggg

        Or the gizmo had a way to check the magnetic strip on the drivers license against a database to make sure they weren’t fake IDs.

        • IstvanIN

          My DL has a magnetic strip on the back, since NJ was the last state to go to picture drivers licenses I assume all state’s do.

      • Wethepeople

        They have one at the liquor stores here, it reads the strip and tells them the age.

  • Spartacus

    These “people” shouldn’t be there to begin with, much less have the right to vote…

  • bigone4u

    Lyndon Johnson was first elected to the Senate in 1948 thorough voter fraud. His level of corruption is legendary. So, now we have Hispanics in the story hoping for less corruption among local officeholders. Let’s hope that voter ids become settled law.

    • MBlanc46

      Ah, come on, he won by a “landslide”

      • SFLBIB

        That’s right! By 87 votes! That’s why they call him “Landslide” Lyndon.

        • That was actually his second attempt to run for Senate. In 1941, he ran in a special election but lost very narrowly. Morris Shepard, the author of the prohibitionist 18th Amendment, died early in that year, and a special election was held months later. The main contenders were Johnson himself, then a Congressman from the Hill Country, and then-Governor “Pappy” O’Daniel. O’Daniel beat Johnson in the Democrat Primary (the Democrat Party was the only party that mattered in Texas in those days) by not much more than a thousand votes. I’m sure both Johnson and O’Daniel knew that they both cheated their rumps off, this is why Johnson didn’t press the voter fraud issue because both sides were dirty and both sides knew it. He accepted the reality that O’Daniel cheated better than he did.

          In 1948, when O’Daniel declined to seek another term in the Senate after having won re-election in 1942, Johnson tried again. This time, he had his act together and cheated better than his main competitor, then-Governor Coke Stevenson, in the famous “87 votes Alice, Texas Precinct 13 Landslide Lyndon” election. Which was actually the runoff between Johnson and Stevenson as those two were the top finishers in the regular Democrat Primary.

          • SFLBIB

            Thx for the history lesson. There was a documentary called “LBJ” on PBS about 15 years ago. In it, they interviewed one of Johnson’s White House aides who told of an evening with LBJ and some others sitting around and joking. Johnson disappeared into an adjoining bedroom where he rummaged around in a closed. He came back to the party and showed a photograph of him and a couple of others holding a box on the hood of a 1940s automobile. There was a number on the box, and someone asked who the people were and the significance of the number on the box. Johnson just smiled and said nothing.

  • John Smith

    The Democrats want non-citizens voting because non-citizens overwhelmingly vote Democrat for the “free” social services. The fact that this is a seditious disgrace is immaterial to Democrats.

  • Greg Thomas

    Looks like reconquista has won in Rio Grande Valley city.