Texas Election Judge Forced To Bar 93-Year Old Man From Voting
October 28, 2014

Here's what these cynical, ugly Voter ID advocates don't seem to understand: One's identity does not expire when one's right to drive does. If a driver's license was issued by the state, it should serve as identification even after expiration. The expiration applies to driving rights, not one's identity, and when you're a 93-year old person, it's probably a good idea to stop driving.


In the six days that early voting has been underway in Texas, election judge William Parsley on Sunday said he has only seen one potential voter turned away at his polling location, the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in downtown Houston.

“An elderly man, a veteran. Ninety-three years old,” Parsley, an election judge for the last 15 years, told ThinkProgress. “His license had expired.”

Under Texas’ new voter ID law, one of the strictest in the nation, citizens are required to present one of seven forms of photo identification to vote. The identification can be a Texas-issued driver’s license, a federally-issued veteran’s ID card, or a gun registration card, among other forms. Licenses can be expired, but not for more than 60 days.

The man Parsley said he had to turn away was a registered voter, but his license had been expired for a few years, likely because he had stopped driving. Parsley said the man had never gotten a veteran’s identification card. And though he had “all sorts” of other identification cards with his picture on it, they weren’t valid under the law — so the election judges told him he had to go to the Department of Public Safety, and renew his license.

“He just felt real bad, you know, because he’s voted all his life,” Parsley said.

As if he will get a license extension in time to vote or something.

Look at the image at the top of this post. That is a Texas "Voter Certificate" card. It has a photo and a date of birth, and that is all it has. No description, no height, weight, address or other identifying information. And it cannot be used as identification, either. Don't you love that? Get an ID card you can't use for identification. Good job, there, Texas.

So a 93-year old man who has voted all his life, has lots of different photo IDs including an expired driver's license is turned away from the polls because he no longer drives.

Tell me more about how the Voter ID laws don't impose a draconian restriction on the right to vote, please.

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