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Got ID? You better have it this time!

Casey Thomas | 9/30/2013, 7:55 a.m.
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

I’m not a writer, I just have something to say. There is an election in November and if you plan to vote – which we all should – you better make sure you have your ID with you. This year we have several constitutional amendments on the ballot, and if you live in Dallas ISD School Board District 8 you will be voting to elect a new trustee. Yes, you heard me right. As a result of the Supreme Court overturning Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has decided to move forward with the voter ID law that was passed by the Texas State legislature.

This law states that in order to vote you must show a valid state of Texas form of identification. This includes a current state of Texas driver’s license, a gun permit, a state of Texas ID card, or a Texas voter identification card. These are the only forms of ID that will be accepted at your polling location when you go to vote.

So what if you are a college student who wants to vote, can you use your college ID card? Absolutely not! The law does not allow college students to use their college ID card with their picture on it. What if you do not have a driver’s license or a state ID card because you are elderly and you only leave the house for your doctor’s appointment and to vote? Too bad, you better have some form of state issued ID whether you have your voter’s card or not. Better yet, if you don’t have a picture ID, you better know where your birth certificate is so you can go and get a free voter identification card. No birth certificate? Well, that will cost you $22 to get a new one.

We cannot sit on the sideline and watch one of our most precious rights be taken from us. For too long we have taken for granted many of the rights that many people have fought, bled and died for. We are seeing the hands of progress being turned back daily. It’s ironic how we are celebrating many of the accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement, but we are also seeing on a state level laws that were passed during this time period that are being overturned.

So, you may ask what can we do about this? First, we can get educated. We need to make sure not only we know, but those around us are aware that the law has changed when it comes to what we need to vote. Once we get educated, we can make sure that we and those we know have the necessary documents to be eligible to vote. Once we have what we need, we need to vote our values and vote based upon the things that we feel are most important. Lastly, we can make our voice heard by calling our state representative and our state senator and let them know how we feel about these changes. We can no longer continue to sit on the sidelines and complain about what other people are doing. We have to get involved and speak out about injustices that are affecting our community. If we don’t, this will only be the beginning.