Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) was among the most vocal proponents of the state’s new voter ID law, which requires all voters to present valid identification at the polls.
But when Abbott showed up to vote, there was a problem: although he is registered to vote as Greg Abbott, his driver’s license identifies him as Gregory Wayne Abbott. Thus, under the law he staunchly defended, he would be unable to vote.
Thankfully for Abbott and others in similar cases, he was still able to cast his ballot thanks to a provision added by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. According to Davis’ amendment, voters whose names are similar on their voter registration and ID card may still vote if they sign an affidavit confirming their true identity.
Davis’ provision reads as follows:
If in determining whether a voter's name is on the list of registered voters the election officer determines that the voter's name on the documentation is substantially similar but does not match exactly the name on the list, the voter shall be accepted for voting as otherwise required by this section if the voter submits an affidavit stating that the voter is the person on the list of registered voters.
Abbott fought against this provision when Davis introduced it; now, he needed it to vote.
Davis herself was forced to sign an affidavit at her polling place because her name appears as Wendy Russell Davis on her driver’s license.
Judge Sandra Watts also had difficulty voting because she uses both her married and maiden names She went public, expressing fear that women would now be alienated from Texas elections.
Said Watts, "I don't think most women know that this is going to create a problem.”
The voter ID law has mainly been criticized for discriminating against minorities, poor people, students and the elderly, who are less likely to have drivers’ licenses. These groups vote heavily Democrat, so the law could skew elections in favor of the GOP.