They’ve targeted Blacks, Latinos and college students. Now Texas has come up with a Voter ID law that will disproportionately affect women – the constituency they most fear will support Wendy Davis.
Women are Wendy Davis’ natural base. Her eleven-hour filibuster of an abortion bill that closed family planning clinics in Texas is the reason she has the name recognition and the political capital to make a run for governor. Anti-choice groups who have never before had to spend money opposing a pro-choice candidate are scrambling to form political action groups to run ads against her. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the man who is most likely to be her opponent, has been touting himself as the real pro-woman candidate for his success at collecting back child support from deadbeat dads. Now, Republicans have found what they hope will be a more reliable plan than trying to persuade women that Republicans have their best interest at heart:
Don’t let women vote.
Think Progress reports that as of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. It sounds like such a small thing, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice, only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because young women have not updated their documents with their married names, a circumstance that doesn’t affect male voters in any significant way. Suddenly 34% of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99% of men are home free.
As of November 5, a birth certificate is not enough. Women voters will have to show legal proof of a name change: a marriage license, a divorce decree, or court ordered change; and they have to be the original documents. No photocopies allowed. This means thousands of women face the hassle of figuring out what they need and how to get it. Then they face at least a $20 fee, more if a woman doesn’t have the time to stand in line and wants it mailed. As a result, many women who are eligible to vote, won’t.
You have to hand it to Texas. Abortion politics threaten to drive the election for governor, so they have figured out a way to discourage a large group of women who are likely have a personal interest in the issue of choice: married women of child-bearing age. Women who might favor Wendy Davis.
But don’t worry. There is no war on women. I have heard Rick Perry say so, so it must be true.
Photos: Texas Women’s Coalition Facebook
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