By Christina Sanders (Texas State Director). Originally published on 99Problems.org.
This year has been a very emotional year for young people, people of color and the poor in Texas. Even though I was not alive during the era of Jim Crow laws that sought to segregate and suppress the electoral impact of African Americans, somehow I feel like I am in the midst of a Jim Crow fight today. The 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature proved brutal to the confidence that many voting rights groups and advocates have in our state lawmakers. During that session, state house and senate representatives voted to approve a Voter ID bill that offered so many restrictions that one might assume Mr. Jimmy Crow wrote it himself.
This photo ID law was deemed “emergency” legislation by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Someone please call 911 because that emergency Voter ID bill could flip the script on Texas voters by no longer allowing voters to use a voter registration card to cast a ballot – leaving more than a half million registered voters shot and voiceless.
According to the bill (SB-14), voters would need a valid photo identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. That identification cannot have been expired more than 60 days – yes, even if the picture is the same and you are the exact same person. In addition to a valid unexpired photo ID, Texans can show a military ID, VISA or passport. Oh yeah, or concealed handgun license. Not for those that may have a concealed handgun but those with “papers” for their concealed handguns.
Well, Jim Crow’s nephew, James thought that he and his ugly grandpa were going to get away with the newly passed laws to cut voters out of the 2012 elections, but the attorney general had an intermission for that horror film. Guess who’s playing Freddie? Eric Holder, who put a stop to the clearance of the Texas Emergency mission to disenfranchise voters by charging state officials up and requesting more information in an effort to ensure the law isn’t discriminatory.
The state has not been able to prove that the new law would not discriminate against voters and has not been able to start putting thing in place to be able to fully implement Texas’ proposed Voter ID law. I don’t get it! I mean, what is so serious that you have to lie and steal to prevent other Americans from voting?
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder will be at The University of Texas in Austin and will be addressing the Voter ID laws. Many groups want to be careful about saying things that might offend or offset Mr. Holder. The students, along with myself, that have to pay stupid high tuition for college yet are graduating without jobs are interested in equal and protected access to the ballot.
We hope that Holder will stand up and step up the fight against any type of voter suppression. Jim Crow never met Holder, but he works for Barack Obama, who is married to Michelle and we hope that the, “oh hell nalls” in so many words are used to protect the voice of Texas’ voters.
Let’s fight, Let’s win!