Thomas Roberts   |  October 24, 2013

Blocking the vote in Texas

A controversial voter ID law in Texas is causing even more problems than anticipated. Married women, whose last names on their driver's licenses no longer match the name on their voter registration cards, are having to jump through hoops to cast a ballot. Ari Berman discusses.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> at live pictures for the senate for american progress, in honor of their 10th anniversary . senator gillibrand is at the mike. another featured speaker jerry brown , former secretary -- or secretary of state john kerry , chicago mayor rahm emanuel and vice president -- former vice president al gore . you can watch the live stream of the event at presprunt

>>> in texas new voter id law in effect and posing problems even the law's creators might not have seen coming. we're hearing from unexpected victims, married women a district judge, who was married, was forced to use a provisional ballot during early voting because the name on her driver's license didn't match the name on her voters registration card.

>> i don't think most women know this is going to create a problem, that their maiden name is on the driver's license, which was mandated in 1964 when i got married and this. so why would i want to use a provisional ballot when i've been voting regular ballot for the last 49 years.

>> great question. as msnbc rachel maddow explained last night, it's not just married women who could be turned away at the polls.

>> there are an estimated 1.4 million voters in texas who are eligible voters who do not have the kind of documentation you're now required to show in order to cast a vote in that state. that doesn't even count the people who do supposedly have the right documentation, they do have the right kind of id like that judge, but the id doesn't match in exactly the way it has to match now for you to be allowed to vote anymore.

>> matchy matchy. joining me now you recently wrote about the problems with the voter id law. republicans started statewide efforts in june to make sure those who don't have photo id will get them. as rachel brought up, 1.4 million without the voter id , only 50 people have it. that is a 0036% of people helped. striking.

>> exactly. texas isn't doing a very good job getting people these ids at the very least. according to their own numbers, 600 to 800,000 registered voters don't have the id. latest number i saw was 41 people got the id. maybe jumped up to 50 now. there's a huge discrepancy among people who need to get the id and people that have the ids. texas set up mobile id centers in 20 counties, only 20 people have gotten ids from them. texas has to do a much better job getting people ids if that's what they want to do.

>> the number is 50, maybe we'll see it climb up as the sun dauns in texas . the idea is voter ids will stop voter fraud . we always hear voter fraud issue. there's only been one person convicted of voter impersonation in texas since 2000 , just one.

>> so you have a situation in texas where they might disenfranchise 1.4 people, inconvenience many, many more people based on this texas judge, based on one case of voter misidentification. it's been sold as an issue that stopped voter fraud but there's no actual problem of voter fraud they would stop. it's a solution in search of a problem, a very bad solution in search of a nonexistent problem.

>> doj has a lawsuit?

>> remember, this was blocked under section 5 of the voting rights act last year. it's only in effect because supreme court overturned section 4 of voting rights act . this thing should have never been law. it's law because of what the roberts court did, sued under different section of the voting rights act , section 2. meanwhile this is in effect inconveniencing, disenfranchising, hurt a lot of people.