Thomas Roberts | October 31, 2013
>>> all right. so early voting is under way in texas and it turns out the gop-backed voter i.d., thanks to the new voter identification law. why, you're asking? well because the name on his driver's license which is an acceptable form of i.d. carries his full name , gregory wayne abbott, but that doesn't match the name on the state's voter registration list where he is greg abbott . state senator wendy davis , abbott's likely democratic opponent ran into the same problem earlier this week.
>> like many women who are vetting in texas today, i was required to sign an affidavit because the name on my voter registration card is slightly different than the name on my driver's license. my driver's license includes my maiden name . my voter registration card does not.
>> co-director of the advancement project . judith, it's good to have you here. as we talked about the original bill, it was drafted by republicans and it would require voters bringing a document bringing their name change with them to the polls. it's a bit of irony that thanks to this amendment that wendy davis introduced in 2011 that allows greg abbott to have an affidavit and still vote. is this the collateral damage that is going to happen because of something so restrictive not being thought out ahead of time?
>> some of it's not collateral, you know. when they passed these laws this was about manipulating the voting rules for partisan gain and, you know, we knew from the beginning that women were going to be disproportionately impacted along with people of color and young voters, and it's not just in texas . it's in other states where these e. i.d. laws were were passed over in wisconsin. these are the same people whos passed these laws in texas . they made it an emergency piece of legislation, the same people who are passing these laws are the same people who want to roll back civil rights and women's rights and for young people take away any opportunity to go to college. so this was part of the party's platform for making it harder to vote for particular groups.
>> so we look at your website and we have staggering statistics and eye openers for people. in texas , over one in ten registered voters lack i.d. and we have 127 counties that don't have i.d.-issuing facilities and the justice department that's currently suing texas over the strict law. so what's next in the battle and what role do you in the advancement project play?
>> right. first, you should know that the department of justice says about $1.4 million eligible voters in the state of texas do not have the i.d. that's required and so what we have to do now is there's litigation that's going on that's brought by the department of justice and a number of civil rights organizations, but we also have to fight on the other side which is making sure that we can start to get people the i.d. if we actually end up losing, but we've got to take these laws on because people need to understand, in pennsylvania and wisconsin, in north carolina where they have them there are millions of people that will not be able to participate. we need to have free, fair and accessible elections. we are supposed to be the leading democracy in this country and to pass these laws that make it unequal for people to participate is just a traves travesty.
>> the advancement project , judith brown , thank you.