My Experience Dealing with the Poll Tax I Must Pay Before I Can Vote in Texas

rick-perry-poll-taxElection day is quickly approaching, and all over the country there’s talk of strict new voter ID laws that have been passed in many Republican-controlled states. And as it just so happens, I live in Texas; one of the many states that have passed these new strict voter ID laws.

Well, by complete and total accident my current drivers license fell off my desk and landed perfectly into the shredder sitting right beside it on the floor. So here I sit, just over a week away from election day, with no valid ID.


So I thought I’d go about seeing how a citizen such as myself might obtain a valid form of ID so that I can vote on November 4th.

Oh, but I don’t want to pay anything. Because as pretty much everybody knows, poll taxes are illegal.

My desire to not pay for my right to vote immediately rules out ordering another copy of my driver’s license, obtaining a basic government issued personal ID card, a passport or getting a concealed weapons license, because all of those options cost money. I’m also not in the military so that’s clearly not an option either.

I was left with only one other option offered on the VoteTexas.gov website: the Texas Election Identification Certificate. It’s the only free option on their list.

So the next logical step was to see how I might go about obtaining one of these fine election identification certificates.

Ah, but there’s the catch. To get one of these cards, you must have some proof of birth (aka a birth certificate). And as I don’t really feel like traveling to my mother’s house to obtain a copy of mine, the only option that leaves me with is to purchase one myself, because getting a copy of my birth certificate isn’t free either.

This all leaves me in quite a conundrum.


I want to vote, but due to a freakish accident my driver’s license was destroyed after it fell into the shredder sitting next to my desk. This, of course, has left me without a valid form of ID, which is now a requirement to vote here in Texas. And it seems the only way for me to obtain the proper identification to vote would be to either purchase a new driver’s license, a government issued personal ID card, a passport or get a concealed handgun license. I also have the option to pay for a copy of my birth certificate so that I’ll have the proper paperwork to qualify for a “no charge” election identification certificate; something that’s not actually “free” considering getting a copy of my birth certificate requires that I pay a fee, and I must have my birth certificate in order to obtain the EIC.

Now I know there are some programs that certain Texans can essentially jump through hoops to qualify for, that can wave some of the fees for these items. But those programs are reserved for people with very low incomes, and I don’t qualify for them.

Besides, a person’s income bracket should have nothing to do with whether or not they are required to pay some kind of fee in order to exercise their right to vote.

So when it comes right down to it, I have no choice. If I want to vote this year, I either need to pay whatever fees are required for whichever form of identification I choose to get, or I simply won’t be allowed to vote.

In other words, as a born and bred American citizen, I cannot vote this year unless I pay some kind of fee for the right to do so.

And that, my friends, is how Republicans have found a way to charge a poll tax.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • CrotchlessBarneySuit

    So, Einstein… how are you planning on legally driving? Tell the cop that an evil shredder ate it, and you shouldn’t have to pay for a new one? And you don’t have a copy of your birth certificate? It’s at mommy’s house? How old are you? 12? Take responsibility for your legal documents.

    • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

      What if an old lady like myself had written that? What if the old lady didn’t have the money to get alternate id’s–other than a drivers license? There ARE actually people alive who DON”T HAVE EXTRA MONEY LAYING AROUND to pay for these kinds of things. Not everyone has money to just do what ever they want.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        Would you not replace your drivers license somehow? Just drive illegally, not be able to provide ID to cash a check?

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Not everyone drives.
        Not everyone leaves the country.
        Not everyone has their birth certificate readily available.

        Now consider which demographic groups are most likely to fit into all those categories. Next consider which party those demographic groups trend to favor in recent elections.

      • Disgusted

        Not if I’m retired and don’t dive any more. And who cashes check anymore???? I use direct deposit and a debit card. And I should NOT have to spend money to vote.

    • FuzzyBunnyFeet

      Miss the point much?

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        No. I got the point. Find every excuse possible how it would cost money to get an ID that any citizen of this country should already for other purposes in their life.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        If one is in hir 50’s, 60’s, or beyond; and has not needed the id so far, then it is not an id that the person needs “for other purposes on their life.

    • robingee

      Lots of older people don’t have birth certificates at all and never did.

    • ClemCadidlhoper

      You missed the point, Crotchless! Yes we have to pay for driver’s license, etc, but a requirement to produce an ID to VOTE, is making people jump though the same hoops twice. So, you are saying that only those who are good record keepers,and have not lost their wallet, or have enough money to pay for a copy of their BC at a moments notice should be able to vote! Is that right? And also, not only is voting a right, but it is a responsibility.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        If you have a government ID you are not jumping twice through a hoop. And yes, a responsible adult should have the ability to get their hands on their important documents in 24hrs or less.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Not eveyone shares your opinion about which documents are important.

  • ejgreene

    It was hypothetical, you purple Republican dimwit. No wonder this country is in serious trouble.

    • Colleen A Shea

      my first thought pretty early-I was asked for ID @ Early Voting, hated it but complied as only a liberal would complain where I live, too many have already been disenfranchised here in GA, I can talk conservative if I must, just to be sure my ballot was properly cast.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        Do you feel disenfranchised when showing an ID to get on a plane? Cash a check? Sign for a piece of certified mail? Is it so wrong to make sure those who have the right to vote are the ones exercising it?

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Not everyone boards a plane. Not everyone cashes a check. Not everyone receives certified mail.

        We have done well with allowing wider varieties of proof of id in the past. These new requirements are not designed to correct in person voter fraud. They are designed to place barriers in the way of certain demographics casting votes.

      • Mike Crowder

        All of those things that might require an ID are not rights protected and guaranteed by the constitution.

        But voting is.

      • Nick

        To buy a fire arm I need ID.

        Where is the outrage?!

      • yassensei

        Felons cannot purchase guns, as per 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). This would be a good reason to ID people who buy guns–to keep them out of the hands of felons.

        Felons can vote in many states, though a few have denied them that right completely. While the Constitutionality of restrictions on suffrage for felons has mostly been upheld, there are conditions that must be followed.

        Note, too, that in only one of these cases is there a potential imminent danger to the public. If a felon votes in an election, nobody dies. There is a good possibility that a felon with a gun will cause injury or death to someone. I think that’s a compelling reason to ID gun sales.

      • Disgusted

        No you DON’T need an ID to buy a firearm in Texas. You can buy from a private individual, a gun show, or off the internet…none of these require an ID for the purchase of a firearm!!!

    • CrotchlessBarneySuit

      Name calling.. Very mature. I like your replies. Can I subscribe to your newsletter?

  • dreisday

    No you don’t want to go and get your birth cert, that’s your choice. For most people who aren’t too lazy it wouldn’t cost them anything. Come to think of it, why is your mother the only person with a copy of your birth certificate, I don’t know any adult who doesn’t keep hold of their own identification documents.

    • Moses

      So, he has to expend gas, which will require money to replace, to satisfy a requirement that does nothing to combat fraud (since it wasn’t happening) and is purposefully oriented to deny the franchise illegally through red tape and extra costs. Never mind that we’ve had over two hundred years of elections without it, suddenly it’s absolutely vital to have ID. And not because demographics are shifting away from the GOP, no, of course not. If you believe that, I’ve got some bottom land to sell you; just don’t ask what it’s on the bottom of, like the good little dupe you are.

      • MrLightRail

        The fraud is where illegal aliens sign an affidavit to register to vote without having to prove their citizenship. All voter ID laws do is prevent those people from voting, because they have to show an ID that proves that they are a legal citizen, unless you live in one of those states that hand out ID’s to illegals.

      • grngrl

        We will all be waiting for you to provide some links to back up your accusation about illegal voting. There is just no significant amount of voter fraud anywhere in the country, so this argument is just false.

        It’s sad that you are so willing to take away the fundamental right of voting away from hundreds of thousands of citizens in the name of snuffing out a problem that doesn’t even exist.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        We will be awaiting YOUR links showing there is ‘no significant amount of voter fraud ANYWHERE in the country.’ Whew, that was an easy argument winner. Carry on.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        www. brennancenter. org/page/-/The%20Truth%20About%20Voter%20Fraud.pdf

        www. snopes. com/politics/ballot/2012fraud.asp

        On a related note, millions do not have documentary proof of citizenship that would be acceptable for obtaining the required photo ids:
        www. brennancenter. org/page/-/d/download_file_39242.pdf

        The ball is back in your court.

      • BkDodge42

        In 2007, in Georgia, the case of Perdue v Lake was dismissed due to lack of standing. The Democrats in Georgia looked for people to challenge the voter ID law in Georgia. They recruited a few people to use as plaintiffs with Lake as the lead plaintiff.

        She claimed that she did not have an ID that would allow her to vote but she had a MARTA/ADA ID to be able to use the paratransit services offered by the bus system. Even when Democratic community activist tried to find someone who couldn’t vote, they couldn’t find one.

        Returned –

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        That’s not a return.

        A return would be answering the original challenge, “We will all be waiting for you to provide some links to back up your accusation about illegal voting” after I answered the follow-up challenge, “We will be awaiting YOUR links showing there is ‘no significant amount of voter fraud ANYWHERE in the country.'”

        Please, try to pay attention.

      • BkDodge42

        My reply to you was in reference to your claim that the Brenner center makes the claim that there are millions of people without the proper forms of identification to be able to vote.

        I also tend to believe the testimony of Jimmy Carter when he headed up the Carter -Baker committee and he stated that in his first election voter fraud would have prevented him from winning the state legislature seat, it was in a primary election between himself and another Democrat, just so you don’t think the fraud was committed by republicans.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        As I pointed out on my 2nd reply, Perdue v. Lake is not relevant given the reasons for

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Also, Perdue v Lake is not relevant to the current article by Alan Clifton.

        As the GA Supreme Court decisiion noted, “An elector who registered to vote by mail, but did not comply with subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-220, and who votes for the first time in this state shall present to the poll workers either one of the
        forms of identification listed in subsection (a) of this Code section or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other document that shows the name and address of such
        elector. Therefore, at the time that she filed her complaint, Lake could have voted in person under the 2006 Act without the need to show a photo ID,
        and Lake has made no contention that she did not have any of the forms of non-photo identification allowed to be shown by first-time voters.”

        The GA statute in 2006 was not as limited in the forms of id accepted as Texas is today.

      • Disgusted

        The transit service ID’s in Texas are not allowed…even Student ID’s are not allowed!!!!

      • BkDodge42

        I was not comparing what ID s are allowed in Texas but indicating that even when the Democrats go out looking for someone to be their test case, they can’t find anyone.

      • Disgusted

        You are missing my point. There are two reasons they can’t be found. Number one, most of the same people do not have televisions or internet service and therefore it is not known where they are. The other reason is o my point, which is that there are more options where you were talking about, and therefore is less onerous. The six types in Texas all cost money and some are very expensive. There is only one that requires no cash outlay, but you have to prove that you are indigent, spend quite a long time in line (2 to 4 hours), provide a BC which you may or may not have, and find transportation to the limited places it s offered. All to attempt to prevent a problem that doesn’t exist in the first place!!!!

      • BkDodge42

        In Perdue v Lake they thought that they had found five such people but each one dropped out when it was found that they did not have standing. A similar situation occurred in other states.

        The election Identification Certificate is issued at no charge. Once again you are relying on someone from outside of Texas to inform you of Texas rules.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        “Once again you are relying on someone from outside of Texas to inform you of Texas rules.”

        I have no reason to disbelieve Alan Clifton when he says he is a Texas resident. Why do you disbelieve him?

      • BkDodge42

        FuzzyBunnyFeet, all I can say is that you seem to be “Left without a clue” Have fun not being able to have any reading comprehension

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        If you were not referring to Alan, then who is the person Disgusted is “relying on … from outside of Texas to inform [him] of Texas rules”?

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Different years, different states, different laws.
        Your responses are not relevant.

      • BkDodge42

        You are indeed left without a clue

    • ejgreene

      Since they have to be notarizrd, you pay at least $23 in Texas for a legal copy. And I still have my kids BC’s. And they are in their 30’s.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        If you have your kid’s birth certificates and they’re in their 30’s, then they are irresponsible adults. Do you do their laundry as well?

      • Disgusted

        Most people never think about needing a copy of their BC. In most instances it is not even considered a legal form of ID because it is not a photo ID…which is why you can’t use it to vote. So who would EVER think that they need to have their B.C. The parents only have it because it was mailed to them automatically at the time of birth. And since you can use a B.C. to get a DL, then why can’t it be used to vote anyway. So if I want to commit voter fraud, I just get a BC and then submit for a DL, so if I wanted to vote fraudulently, this law wouldn’t stop it anyway!!

    • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

      What does your comment mean? “For most people who aren’t too lazy it wouldn’t cost them anything”? I don’t know where YOU were born but it is NOT free to get a copy of your birth certificate!!

      • dreisday

        its free to go to your mom’s house and pick it up

      • Disgusted

        Not if she lives across the country…and that is if she even has one. You presume that everyone’s mom has BC, but that is NOT true.

    • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

      You sound like a real caring American—–NOT! Oh—-I guess you must be a republican—-that figures.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        I LOVED that ‘NOT’ joke when Mike Myers did it in the 90’s. Never gets old. Sometimes we just need to prove who we are. And I am a caring American. I care about America , her laws and her legal citizens. If you are here illegally then you are a criminal. Illegal = Legal —- NOT (get it). And no, I affiliate with no party.

      • Sway

        hmm..to bad murder wasn’t illegal when our ancestors used it to take control of American land….I am sure Native Americans would have appreciated stricter voting laws back in the day…

    • FuzzyBunnyFeet

      The copies of my birth certificate, that I know about, are located across an ocean from where I am. I live in “fly-over country”. If I found myself in Mr. Clifton’s position, I couldn’t just “go and get [my] birth cert”. And, I’m an adult who does not have my birth certificate with me because I’ve never needed to have it with me.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        Maybe it’s a damn fine time to have it. Don’t ya think? You may need it for something.

      • Sandy Greer

        I needed mine for my passport.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        Me too. And I was born here. I even showed them my drivers license, which required a birth certificate before it was issued, and yet they still wanted to see my certified birth certificate. I felt so disenfranchised. Why couldn’t they just take my word for it?

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Your ability to travel to another country is not equivalent to my ability to exercise the most fundamental right we have in our representative republic.

      • Disgusted

        …again since the B.C. doesn’t prove who I am, and I can use to get a passport or DL, then how does this prevent voter fraud…no, it is just a way to disenfranchise folks through a poll tax.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        Haven’t needed it so far. Don’t anticipate needing it on the future.

    • Marsha

      isn’t it easy to make fraudulent birth certificates? I heard even the president did it LMAO How is THAT even proof of who you are? It does NOT have your present ADDRESS to PROVE you BELONG to that VOTING district…WOMEN have changed their names so they have to bring a marriage certificate as well WHY WHY WHY when YOU ARE ALREADY REGISTERING to VOTE. .It’s like asking you PROOF of your address your birthday your ownership LOAN proof or payment off your car loan every single time you pay your car REGISTRATION fee every 2 years WTF? How about ALL the ID’s you have a mailing with your address EVERY TIME you take a library book out.? It is idiotic it’s like RE REGISTERING every time then WHAT is the POINT of registering to begin with?? Or how about every single monthe when you pay your mortgage? PROVE that you are who you are and that you are still in good standing bring in your pay check as well as BC, utilities bill paycheck from work to PROVE that you CAN make the payment…REGISTERED means you have ALREADY met the REQUIREMENTS and will not have to REGISTER again unless you MOVE and are in another voting district… Voting is a RIGHT not a privilege.. BUT OK how come you refuse to register your guns for the first time? or every time you go for your hunting license instead of renewing it we can make you PROVE you are who you are, every single season make you REregister instead of just sending in a fee to renew what you have already REGISTERED for…??? can we say your propaganda machine must be at a peak where you live. Mountains out of molehills to distract you from the real issues

      • dreisday

        please fix the syntax and overuse of capitals in your comment and I may be able to suffer to the end of it and offer a reply

      • Marsha

        Please fix the syntax, and overuse of capitals in your comment. I may be able to suffer (through until) the end of it, and offer a reply. I think you ALREADY did. L-M-A-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • needmorecommonsense

      Not always a choice, dreisday, my birth certificate was declared null and void years after my birth because of corruption in the county I was born in. At the age of 35, when I needed a passport to travel for work, I had to go to the state capital, a couple of hours away from me, with all kinds of ID to get a replica of my birth certificate. This was a confusing process that took a couple more hours and $65.00. That cost is on TOP of all the gas I had to use and a lost day of work. for me, if I needed this to vote, I would consider a poll tax.

      This is the horror that the repukes are counting on. They are making it impossible for many poor people to vote.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        “Repukes”.. Very mature. Name callers always have the most persuasive arguments. Keep up the good work.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        The purple pariah is correct. We have the moral and intellectual high ground. We do not need to engage in name calling.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        “impossible” is unnecessary hyperbole. Republicans are making exercise of the franchise more difficult for certain segments of the population in hopes of discouraging turnout in those segments.

    • Disgusted

      If you do not live in the county, it is NOT free to get a BC and if you were born outside of Texas, t is also not free.

  • BkDodge42

    Allen, since you don’t want to drive to your mother’s house to obtain your birth certificate (are you the pajama boy?) and you don’t want to pay to obtain a new drivers license, you do still have two options. This first one is that you could apply for and obtain a permanent exemption from the county voter registrar with proof of a disability. That should be easy for a liberal to be able to prove living in Texas. The other option is to claim that you have a religious objection to having your photograph taken and be able to cast a provisional ballot but that would require that you then return to the voting registrar to sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection. (Are you Amish by chance?)

    • Cat Marcuri

      Wow, you’re a real douchenozzle. A little stuck on yourself, I see.

      • BkDodge42

        Wow Cat, Allen’s original blog posting included a tongue in cheek explanation of how his ID card just happened to fall into a nearby shredder, posting a tongue in cheek response without being mean-spirited would be keeping in the same spirit of the original posting.

  • deedee2die4

    Wasn’t Thomas Jefferson turned away from a poll due to having no photo ID? No? Then the Regressives should go with the founders. Unless, of course, you’re a mere 3/5 of a person.

    • BkDodge42

      As you would know since you are such an expert in the US Constitution, voting is not one of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. In Jefferson’s day you had to be male, over 21 and a land owner. Each state was responsible with establishing their voting rules. It wasn’t until the 15th amendment that any mention was made as to what states could not use to restrict their voting laws.

      • deedee2die4

        Here’s a Jackson, go buy yourself a sense of humor.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        “voting is not one of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution”

        This is a false meme making the rounds recently. The Amendments to the Constitution are every bit a part of the Constitution as the original articles.

        In the 14th Amendment, section 1 guarantees equal protection under the law and section 2 provides for reduction in the number of a state’s US representatives as a penalty for abridging the right to vote.

        The 15th Amendment, section 1, states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” This establishes an unconditional right to vote for citizens of any race. At the time of this amendment, only men were enfranchised.

        The 19th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

        The 24th Amendment, section 1, states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reasons of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.”

        The 26th Amendment, section 1, states, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.”

        Together, these Amendments establish a sacrosanct right to vote for all citizens 18 years of age and older.

        It is also worth noting that the right to vote is the most often discussed topic in the entire Constitution.

      • BkDodge42

        In 1868 when the 14th amendment was ratified it stated that every citizen enjoys equal protection of the law, the states still controlled who had the right to vote. Many states in 1868 still required to be a land owner to vote. As long as every citizen in the states were treated equally as to the voting laws, the state would not have violated the 14th amendment.

        Even with the 14th amendment, it took the 15th amendment ratified in 1870 to include the right to vote shall not be abridged on account of race. That is what I meant that the 14th and 15th amendments did not create the right to vote but that each state was entitled to establish their voting laws as long as it was not violating the 14th and 15th amendments.

        Take a look at Minor v Happersett Supreme Court case that effectively said that while women were citizens, they were still not entitled to vote. If the 14th amendment had made voting a right and not informing states how they could not deny people the right to vote, then the court would have ruled that Minor would have been ruled eligible to vote but the ruling included the statement that neither the Constitution or the 14th Amendment made all citizens voters.

        I have not seen the meme that you are referring to I have used Supreme Court rulings to come to that conclusion. The meme that I have seen is one that tries to claim that photo ID for voting is not constitutional because they did not have photographs when the constitution was written.

        States are still free and still restrict the ability to vote to felons and each state has different rules as to when they are able to regain the right to vote. As long as they now do not use age, sex or race as a restriction to voting they can still make the local rules,

        The Carter – Baker commission recommended that photo ID be used for voting.Allen is “claiming” that the cost of obtaining a new drivers license constitutes a poll tax fails to look at the ability to drive a motor vehicle requires a license from a state and that is the cost that he will need to incur since his license met an untimely demise.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        It’s too bad that people focus on Alan’s drivers license being destroyed. That was the hypothetical jumping off point for Alan to investigate the de facto poll tax that is the requirement to have one of the limited number of photo IDs specified by Texas statute.

        Alan was obviously using the hypothetical as a way to make the exercise personal, yet people latch onto that item instead of seeing the larger picture.

        There are people who don’t have drivers licenses and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have a concealed carry permit and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have a US citizens certificate and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have passports and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have a military id card with photograph.

        There are people who don’t have ANY of the above (the accepted forms of id in Texas) and don’t have easy access to a birth certificate that shows their current name.

        The people who don’t have such ID fall predominantly into a few demographic groups. Most of those groups vote predominantly for Democratic candidates.

        According to “The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification” (www. brennancenter. org /sites/default/files/legacy/Democracy/VRE/Challenge_of_Obtaining_Voter_ID.pdf), in 2012 11% of eligible voters did not have one of the forms of id required by the 19 states which, at that time, had restrictive voter id requirements. Disenfranchising up to 11% of eligible voters to alleviate a problem that occurs less in than .1% of all votes cast is unconscionable overkill.

        The Brennan Center paper above also examines the expenses involved in obtaining even “Free” photo ids.

      • BkDodge42

        I understood that Allen was using a little humor about his license being shredded, I made a post that seems to have gotten to near the end that also was intending to be tongue in cheek to match the tone of the original blog.

        One of the main points is that while everyone will not have some of the forms of identification, and that to obtain a birth certificate there is a cost for some, that is something that they need to do for everyday living anyhow.

        I was applying for a vocational jobs program in the past that I needed a copy of my birth certificate. I had to pay to obtain a birth certificate. Instead of taking advantage of the job training, I instead entered a good college locally to earn my bachelors degree in Political Science (Similar to Allen’s degree)

        I needed to have a new drivers license issued once and they did not like my social security card because it was laminated. The new cards say do not laminate, my older card did not say that but it does say that it is not to be used as identification. I needed to get a new social security card to get the new license. I may have needed a copy of my birth certificate for that also if I hadn’t had other forms of identification that was acceptable.

        In another post I indicated that in 2005 Jimmy Carter and James Baker headed up a commission on improving voting confidence and they recommended to require a photo ID for voting.

        I’m not sure how you have come up with me focusing on Allen’s losing his drivers license when that took up only one sentence and was making reference to part of the headline indicated that having to obtain the necessary paper work that would allow you to obtain even a “free” ID to vote.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        “I’m not sure how you have come up with me focusing on Allen’s losing his drivers license when that took up only one sentence…”

        It was your closing argument, it is an argument made by others in these comments, and it is a red herring.

        There are people who don’t have drivers licenses and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have a concealed carry permit and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have a US citizens certificate and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have passports and don’t need one.
        There are people who don’t have a military id card with photograph.

        There are people who don’t have ANY of the above (the accepted forms of id in Texas) and don’t have easy access to a birth certificate that shows their current name.

        The people who don’t have such ID fall predominantly into a few demographic groups. Most of those groups vote predominantly for Democratic candidates.

      • BkDodge42

        So the last statement that I made was the focus of my argument? That it was referring to the situation that is the subject of the original post? Trying to stay on topic of the post is a red herring? All you can do is repeat your talking points about how many people in Texas don’t have an acceptable form of ID, Are you trying to claim that those people are incapable of obtaining an acceptable form of ID. People who you are making reference to fall into a few demographics groups, that I believe are capable of obtaining an ID, but you seem to believe that they cannot. You have to ask yourself one question then.

      • Disgusted

        “They” do not necessarily have to have an ID for everyday living. If I am retired, I do not need an ID for work or school, and since I may very well be to old to drive, I do not need a DL and since I don’t own a gun or plan to leave the U.S. I do not need a passport or gun permit…so the ONLY reason I would need this is to vote, therefore that IS requiring me to pay a POLL TAX!!!! And as a woman, my voter’s ID may very well not match my DL (maiden name on DL, not on voter’s registration), in which case I will still not be allowed to vote even though I do have the proper ID.

      • BkDodge42

        Have you ever tried to open a bank account without an ID? Even if you didn’t have a bank account, how do you go about cashing checks? (Even social security checks)
        In Texas, a Texas Identification card for persons 60 and older may be permanent and marked INDEF, a Texas Election Certificate for those over 70 do not expire. Both are free to those who need them to vote if they do not have a drivers license.

        Election officials will review the ID and if a name is “substantially similar”
        to the name on their list of registered voters, you will still be able
        to vote, but you will also have to submit an affidavit stating that you
        are the same person on the list of registered voters. When you register to vote you provide your name to register. Why would you purposely create a problem for yourself by being in the habit of using your maiden name for your drivers license but register to vote under a different name?

      • Disgusted

        Most of these elderly people (like me) have had their bank account for 25 years or more and do not have to open an account…and social security checks are direct deposited now, and even if the certificate is free and will not expire, they have to find transportation to the facility the first time and this is in order to stop a problem, fraud, that does not even exist. And as far as similar names, I know of several women who have been questioned…and they did receive a provisional ballot, but they have no way of knowing exactly how the verdict went on whether or not their vote actually was counted, there is no appeal process. And as far as purposely using different names, that is NOT how it works. You fill out a form, and the voters registration card specifically says first, last and middle name, however, the Driver’s license form specifically requests your maiden name if you are female, and they AUTOMATICALLY put your maiden name down as your middle name. There is not a choice about it!!!!

      • BkDodge42

        The final solution is to request an absentee ballot by mail and there is not ID requirement for that. If the drivers license has your maiden name as part of your middle name but your first and last names match, the name would be considered to be substantially similar and you would be allowed to vote. Why not look at the Texas secretary of state web page to find out all of the rules to be able to vote in Texas instead of needing someone from another state to read and notify you of the rules?

  • I hate Republicans. There. I said it.

    • CrotchlessBarneySuit

      You are so brave. Can I get you a special sticker or a lollipop?

  • sandyk

    My sister , who is in her late 60s, had to pay $45 to get a certified copy of her South Carolina birth certificate to use to get a replacement Georgia photo ID, for which she paid $20. That $65 is more than 10% of her monthly income. Definitely a poll tax that discriminates against the poor.

    • CrotchlessBarneySuit

      I’m sure she needed the ID for purposes other than voting.. right?

      • EnterpriseK

        That is besides the point. It is not a law that one needs to have a photo ID, sure it makes life increasingly difficult, but one could pull it off somewhere. That person should still be able to exercise his or her right to vote without the requirement of paying money.

      • CrotchlessBarneySuit

        No, not a law that you need ID, but many things require ID. Feel free to live off the grid without one. But dont complain when the rest of civilized society requires you to prove your identity at various points.

      • Mike Crowder

        All of those things that might require an ID are not rights protected and guaranteed by the constitution.

        Voting is.

      • Nicktoo

        Need an ID to buy a firearm.

        Where is the outrage?!

      • Dan

        Can I add more likes to Nicktoo’s post. The 2nd amendment is a right which comes with fees. So should we take away a need for ID to purchase a firearm!?

      • dazthelibrarian

        The 24th Amendment specifically prohibits a poll tax. This means that voting can’t cost money. The 2nd Amendment has no such provision.

      • Michael Ejercito

        Harper v. Virginia state Board of elections was not decided on 24th Amendment grounds,.

      • Paranormal Skeptic

        So, you’d be ok with mandating photo ID to:
        * Buy a gun
        * Buy ammunition
        * Get a gun permit

        Right? You’re completely onboard with all of these too, right?

      • Monomachos

        No that is the point – the ID is not used only for voting so it is a gross overstatement to call it a ” poll tax.”

  • MrLightRail

    Well, unless you are not going to drive for some time, you would still need to get a driver’s license. Just sayin’.

    • Disgusted

      Not if I am retired and no longer drive.

  • Adam of Portland

    I see the point of the article, but can’t one order an absentee ballot?

    • KelLil00

      You can only get an absentee ballot if you’re over 65 or disabled, in jail, or absent from the county during both the early voting period and election day.

      • Jennifer Christiansen Sneed

        Depends on where you live. In Iowa, I’ve voted twice with the absentee ballot. You need no reason here.

      • KelLil00

        That’s true, however he lives in Texas and so do I. Those are the absentee ballot rules for Texas.

  • Guest

    Every election the GOP acts as if we need to enact voter ID laws or some fictional pool of illegals will assume the identity of dead people and alter they election. However, voter ID laws have been in force in lots of states for over a decade and the convictions for voter fraud have not changed. Nope not one bit.
    This stupid republican garbage isn’t new. And it doesn’t stop anything as it has been proven beyond any doubt.

  • Rob Banks

    Every election the GOP acts as if we need to enact voter ID laws or some fictional pool of illegals will assume the identity of dead people and alter the election. However, voter ID laws have been in force in lots of states for over a decade and the convictions for voter fraud have not changed. Nope not one bit.
    This stupid republican garbage isn’t new. And it doesn’t stop anything as it has been proven beyond any doubt.

    • BkDodge42

      In 2005, the Carter – Baker commission in their report recommended that ID be required to be able to vote. That is President Jimmy Carter and James Baker so they put together a non partisan committee that came up with recommendations that included requiring Photo IDs to vote. Your claim seems to be partisan and ignores a Democratic president who during the testimony recalled how in his first election to the state legislature in 1962 he had to prove to a court of law that there was voter fraud that would have kept him from winning his election.

      • Rob Banks

        States that have required voter ID for years.

        Arkansas
        Connecticut
        Florida
        Georgia
        Hawaii
        Idaho
        Indiana
        Kansas
        Lousiana
        Michigan
        North Carolina
        Oklahoma
        Rhode Island
        South Carlonia
        South Dakota
        Tennesee
        Texas
        Virginia
        West Virginia
        Wisconsin

        Net reduction for any and all states in voter fraud=0%
        The entire push for photo ID every election is a Nazi right wing attempt to keep minorities from voting. It’s racist. Republicans know it, but they still want it, under the false guise that photo ID works, (it’s been in states for years but the GOP keep saying fraud is a problem.).
        On the other hand we have ample evidence that photo ID law has stopped hundreds of thousands of legitimate minority voters from voting.

      • BkDodge42

        Rob, thats not a fair claim that President Jimmy Carter is a Nazi by recommending that the entire country and not just these few states require a photo ID. I know that Jimmy Carter was a Democrat from the south where Democrats supported slavery for so long, but to say that Jimmy Carter is a racist is uncalled for.
        There have been studies that actually show an increase in turnout in states that have put in Photo ID laws.

      • Rob Banks

        “Rob, thats not a fair claim that I’m heterosexual”
        I never said that.
        ” I know that I’m a person in the closet and I was a Democrat from the south where Democrats supported slavery for so long”
        Really? Do you still support slavery as a member of the GOP?
        “And yes, I’m a racist but you telling the truth about me is uncalled for.”
        Well at least you admit you’re a racist.

        “There have been no studies to show an increase in turnout in states that have put in Photo ID laws.”
        Ok, Thanks for being able to admit you’re wrong.

  • Tom Pryor

    Um, wouldn’t you kind of need to replace that DL anyway, just to drive, purchase alcohol, fly on planes, etc?

    • Disgusted

      Presumes I am not retired and still drive.

  • Ryan

    this isnt a poll tax. you lost your ID, you cant drive, you cant purchase alcohol, you cant do very much. you wouldnt have to pay a ‘poll tax’ if you didn’t drop your ID. your not paying to vote, your paying to replace your ID. the timing is what your trying to use as your crappy political crybaby story. Get real, replace your ID like an adult, bring your temporary ID with you to the poll, and go vote for your far-left candidate.

    • Disgusted

      If I were retired and no longer drove I would have the same situation. She was only using that as an example.

    • Anne Mckinney-page

      If you are over a certain age… you don’t need an ID to buy alcohol. I do not drive… so that was not an issue for me. You sure are a bitter piece of work for someone so young. You must not have been breastfed…

  • Anne Mckinney-page

    I broke my neck some years back… and during the long recovery period, my ID expired. If you go more than a year, they require ALL the documents possible, before you can replace it. We also moved… and somehow all the important personal paperwork was lost. Texas DPS wanted a two year or less copy of the Birth certificate, a certified copy of the divorce from the First Mr. Anne, and a certified copy of the marriage license to the Current Mr. Anne.

    Detroit has an arrangement with a copy that allows you to order online, and I had it in four days. Just $57. I got the divorce papers for $1 a page, and shipping costs (although I had to file a written request)… $15 dollars total… four days.

    Dallas, Texas is at least twenty years behind in technology… also requiring a written request… with a FOUR WEEK response time. So, I am going to haul my disabled body up to Dallas, blowing a day of time, gas, and expenses for the License… at least another $30 dollars. And THEN… I get to pay again for a new ID…. which added up, is 1/12th of what we live on a month, from the disabled hubby’s SS.

    Yeah… they want to make this as hard as they can, to disenfranchise the poor.

  • Macdoodle

    You are a fool if you dont want to replace your ID.Guess it would be illegal if you decide to drive without a drivers license in your possession.This is the most ridiculous article on here to date.

  • Macdoodle

    Oh and sure it landed in the paper shredder.What a bunch of BS.

    • FuzzyBunnyFeet

      Another member of the Missed the Point club.

      It was a hypothetical to make a point.

  • thoushaltpullthyheadoutofthy

    Didn’t need to drive eh.. or buy anything requiring proof of age? or id?

  • lee

    I wonder how much CrotchlessBarneySuit is being paid to make all of their comments… sounds like a paid troll to me!

  • srsmith

    As I see it, everyone has the right to vote.
    So I would think that the Government of the people should be trying to make it easier for the people to exercise that right…not harder.

  • tom padgett

    What a dumb, fake story. A dumb fake of a story. A story, that is fake and dumb.

  • Jo Hippert

    I have to have my photo ID Drivers License for many things. Not just voting. I bet the truly poor are on Government welfare and that they had to have proof of identity to get it. We had to have lots of ID and proof of age to sign up for SS. Anyone that doesn’t have a photo ID will need one fore more than voting. If there were no fraud, there would be no need.

  • Johns.Opinion

    BS just BS. Everyone needs a photo ID. You my friend can just go to the MVR and get a new license. That’s what a sane person does when their license is destroyed. As for ID’s at the polls, we in RI have required IDs, a blue state. Yes you have to pay, but this is what you should of done years ago starting like at age 16. So stop crying, do what your suppose to do get ID like a normal person. Yes normal people have IDs. I don’t fell sorry for anyone that’s basically so lazy to not have done it, especially if you lived here in the USA all your life. Your irresponsibility is not my problem.

  • Buzzards

    Well, in order to vote, you have to get to the voting booth. That costs gas, or bus fare, or if you walk, wear and tear on your shoes. So unfair. The state obviously needs to knock on your door with a ballot in hand and of course a pen to mark it with so you are not out any ink.
    How about instead of considering your alleged shredder incident a poll tax, we call it a stupidity tax for being dumb enough to get your ID allegedly dropped into a shredder.

  • workindev

    Were you planning on getting reimbursed for time and travel to the polling location? It sounds like you are completely unwilling to expend any amount of time or effort to be eligible to vote, so is that any different when you actually go out to vote? I mean, even walking to the polling station consumes calories that you presumably had to pay for when you bought your groceries. That sounds a lot like an unconstitutional poll tax.

  • Monomachos

    What a crock! You make up a story about destroying your license and then do nothing but whine about imaginary hardships – don’t want to go to Mommy’s house? Oh, the horror!

  • Lazy_I

    So, those horrible voting ID laws are keeping you from voting because you, “don’t really feel like traveling to [your] mother’s house to obtain a copy of [your birth certificate].”

    And, apparently, US mail hasn’t yet made it to your neighborhood? Oh, wait, that would cost you a stamp. Horrors.

    Also, unless you plan on not driving again, getting a replacement drivers license won’t be an extra cost to facilitate your right to vote. You need a drivers license to drive.

    Of course, I’m approaching this from the perspective of a conservative, not from the “I’m a liberal, so I need other people to do everything for me” perspective.