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New Voter ID law rolls out with few glitches for local voters

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Tuesday marks the first major test of a controversial voter ID law in Texas, requiring voters to present a government-issued photo ID.

Everyone who showed up to vote locally was able to cast his or her ballots, according to county election officials.

But some voters, like Cat Bucher, still experienced problems when they showed up to polling places - like a few glitches in the system.

"The ID that I carried matched my voter registration certificate, but it didn't match the computer," Bucher said.

One listed her middle name, the other her maiden name.

"Many [election officials] in that room, many of them facilitating the vote had had the same experience," she said.

The election judge ruled it "substantially similar," a judgement call under guidelines issued by the Texas Secretary of State for enforcing the law.

And it's the "substantially similar" ruling that Deana Patterson, county election clerk, said helped voting run smoothly in Grayson County.

"There is an affidavit they can initial that says they have a similar name, and they are accepted for voting," Patterson.

The follow is a list of approved government-issued identification cards that can be used to vote:

- Texas driver's license
- U.S. passport
- State-issued ID card
- State-issued election certificate
- Texas concealed handgun license
- U.S. military ID
- Citizenship certificate with a photograph issued by the federal government

Tammy Biggar, Fannin County clerk, said word traveled quickly at the grassroots level that voters needed to bring a government issued picture ID in order to cast a ballot. Texas voters who show up without an ID can cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted once it's verified.

"We've not had any provisional voters that had anything to do with voter ID, which I think is real interesting," Biggar said. "Everybody's taken care of that ahead of time, which is nice, and I don't think it's really been an issue for us in this area."

As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, turnout was around 4 percent in Grayson County

And with turnout extremely low, Bucher worries about the implications of the new law once more popular elections roll around.

"Having the time to pursue these details, that's just not something many of us have," she said. "And it's worth coming out to vote just to make sure you can the next time."


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