Disenfranchise: verb. to deprive of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity; especially : to deprive of the right to vote.
The Texas GOP is putting that word to use in the sneakiest way possible: starting November 5th, a voter must show identification with his or her most current, legally recognized name. I say his or her...but when was the last time a "he" you know had a name different from as it reads on his birth certificate? Rather, this new law has honed in on the constituency of married women who haven't updated their identification to reflect a changed last name.
A statistic from the Brennan Center for Justice reports that "66 percent of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with [their] current legal name." The third without? Texas shrugs and says they just have to find a way to furnish a new ID if they want to vote in any upcoming elections. As one of my personal favorite internet celebrities once wisely said: "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
If you think "disenfranchisement" is a bit of a stretch, think about when Pennsylvania's House Majority Leader, Republican Mike Turzai admitted to supporting voter ID laws because he felt it would "allow governor [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania." Oh dear.
One can only hope that the Great Wendy Davis will put on a cape and swoop down to rescue the women of Texas from the clutches of the GOP once more! Until then, women of Texas...I salute you!
Image via Oregon State