By: Damali Keith
Posted: July 9th, 2012
A new Texas law has some claiming it’s really a Republican strategy to get President Barack Obama out of office.
The Texas Voter Identification Law is being fought in federal court in Washington D.C., but it’s the talk of the NAACP convention in Houston.
“We are living through the greatest wave of legislative assaults on the right to vote in more than a century,” says NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.
There are strong claims coming from the convention.
“In 2011/2012, we saw more states pass more laws pushing more voters out of the ballot box than in any legislative cycle in more than a century,” adds Jealous.
“Instead of making it easier for people to vote, there is a strategy to prevent people of color and older people from voting,” says Democratic Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy.
“They (the Republicans) are trying to steal it. That’s exactly what they’re doing, just like George W,” says A.B. Lampkin who came from Fort Worth to the convention in Houston.
“This is a piece of legislation that’s been supported by 75 percent of all Texans. That’s Republicans and Democrats. It’s common sense reform,” explains head of the Harris County Republican Party Jared Woodfill.
The state says the law is an effort to prevent voter fraud. Texas officials are battling to keep the law after the US Justice Department rejected the legislation which would require voters to show a driver’s license or state identification in order to cast a ballot.
“It’s kind of hard for people to go and get a license if you don’t have a car,” says Houstonian Felicia Perkins.
The hearing is expected to take five days. A ruling is expected late this month or in early August. An estimated 600,000 registered Texas voters do not have a government-issued ID. Many are poor, even homeless.
“If they can’t exercise their right to vote and elect people, who will represent them then? They will only be pushed further into the trenches on the fringes of society,” says Houstonian Sapphire Jule King.
“You can go to the Department of Public Safety and if you don’t have the ability to pay for one, they’ll actually give you one,” counters Woodfill.
“Every individual has the right to vote and when you put limitations on those rights, you’re taking away their liberty,” says Lampkin.
US Attorney General Eric Holder was scheduled to speak at a luncheon at the convention Monday, but we’re told a delayed airplane kept him from it. Holder is now set to say a few words Tuesday. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney will speak on Wednesday. Vice President Joe Biden will have his turn on Thursday.
The NAACP says it will register one million new voters before November.