Under a Texas law making it harder for Texans to vote — a law that had previously been ruled invalid but was reinstated by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision — 84-year-old Dorothy Card is forced to fight for her right to cast a ballot after voting faithfully for the last 60 years.
"It makes me feel free to do so. It just makes me known that I'm an American and I have a right to vote,” said the Lufkin, Tex., resident. "Roosevelt, I did vote for him. Truman, I guess I voted for him.”
The elderly woman no longer has a driver’s license. She gave up driving after a 1999 accident. So under the Texas law, she needs a state-issued photo ID to vote. In the past, her signature did the trick.
Texas passed the Voter ID law in 2011, but the U.S. Justice Department invalidated the law because Texas was one of the states requiring approval for any changes to its voting laws.
That procedure was designed to prevent states with a history of discouraging voter turnout, particularly among African-Americans, from returning to their pre-Civil Rights era ways.
But in June, the Supreme Court ruled that racial discrimination in those mostly southern states is no longer a problem. Consequently, the court ruled, those states are free to enact whatever changes to voting laws that they want.
Within hours of the court’s ruling coming down, Texas re-activated the dormant voter ID law.
Card (in picture at left) has applied for her photo ID three times, but each time she’s been rejected, told that she hasn’t resented enough documents.
With the help of her daughter, Cheryl Hoffman —a legal assistant — Card has gathered stacks of documents — even a special letter from Angelina County where her marriage license from 50 years ago can no longer be located.
State officials assured reporters from local TV station KTRK that Card would definitely have her ID by the next election, which is coming up in six weeks when Texas voters consider a number of ballot initiatives.