Court’s voter ID blow will change the way Texans vote

Pat Crow says the Texas voter ID law prevented her vote from counting. (KXAN Photo/ Paul Shelton)
Pat Crow says the Texas voter ID law prevented her vote from counting. (KXAN Photo/ Paul Shelton)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a federal appeals court ruled the Texas voter ID law is discriminatory and ordered changes ahead of the November election, counties are waiting to learn exactly what it will mean at the polls.

Pat Crow, 73, says she’s voted in every presidential election since her vote for LBJ. But she says earlier this year, her vote didn’t count.

Crow says she had a stroke. She couldn’t drive and her driver’s license lapsed. She says she cast a provisional ballot, but the voter ID law did not let the Travis County Clerk count Crow’s vote. She wasn’t able to turn in the proper records in time.

“They just took that off and didn’t count it,” said Crow.

“Everybody says ‘Oh, well there’s a free ID.’ Well, maybe, if you have all of the backup documentation to get that free ID,” said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir. “But getting the backup documentation can be very expensive, especially if you’re older and you were born at home; or there was a fire at your courthouse or your church and the records are lost.”

Now, DeBeauvoir is waiting for a lower court to decide what rules are appropriate for Texas.

“I know we will have some sort of photo identification. So by all means, plan to bring what you have. But I think we will see kind of a broader example of the kinds of photo ID you can bring in,” DeBeauvoir said.

“How rampant or not, one illegal vote, one fraudulent vote is one too many,” said Texas Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, who co-authored the voter ID law.

State Sen. Perry maintains the law is not discriminatory and says the legislature will be looking at the rules again.

“We’ll find the magic formula that eases their objections and get back in the system going forward,” said Perry.

Crow is prepared, no matter what the change. After the last election, she got a state ID instead of a driver’s license.

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