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!
Thanks to Think Progress and Merriam-Webster
Image via Oregon State
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