Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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July 26, 2013

Battleground: Cherokee County

As the new Voter ID law continues to alarm the disenfranchised, a 92-year-old Jacksonville voter discusses her belief that she was forced to “Fight City Hall” to be allowed to participate in the next election.

(Continued)

JACKSONVILLE —

Not so in America. Which is why Caesar Roy and members of the Cherokee County Democratic Party echo the alarm of their statewide and national counterparts. They maintain that the cost of attaining or re-attaining an active voter's ID in Texas amounts to a large amount of money and wasted time that shouldn't ever have to be an issue.

“Why should they have to pay to get these records from the state?” Caesar Roy asked an audience Thursday night during a meeting of the Cherokee County Democrat Party at Lupe's Restaurant in Jacksonville.

Photo ID law supporters believe that the inconvenience of attaining identification is negligible when compared to the threat of ineligible voters tampering with elections.

But opponents say the laws and the troubles they cause for the many people who can't hurdle bureaucratic obstacles prevent elderly voters, minority voters and handicapped voters from casting ballots.

For Lottie Horn, voting is not a privilege, but a responsibility she takes very seriously. So when she learned about the new law she simply went with it and tried to get her ID.

But then, she said, the ridiculousness began.

Despite having an expired driver's license with her image already on it, she said the local Texas Department of Public Safety told her she would have to go to the Bureau of Vital Statistics and get officials there to issue a document declaring she had “no birth certificate.”

Other items of proof the DPS required included a copy of any marriage license she may have had, a social security card, and a letter from her senior home saying she was a resident there. All before any photo ID could be issued for the sole purpose of voting.

She also was required to producer a copy of the Census Record that first listed her as part of a Jacksonville household at age 18 in 1940.

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