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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
Attorney • (808) 845-2211

Voter ID Chronicle #1: the birth certificate hurdle

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In Texas to get a voter ID a person may need to a copy of their birth certificate. Sounds easy enough so let’s go through the steps of what it takes in Texas to get a copy of your birth certificate. If after reading the explanation below if you are a person wanting to get a voter ID and are confused about how to do it, go to the Voter ID Clinic in Houston this Saturday and trained staff will help you get your Voter ID.

First of all when a Texas citizen applies for a copy of their birth certificate they have to have his/her signature notarized on an application.  If you want the details, check out the identification requirements listed on pages 16 and 17 of the Texas Notary Public Handbook  If the signer or a personal witness is not personally known to the Notary, they must produce:

 …. a current satisfactory identifying document issued by a centralized or state government containing the individual’s photograph, signature and physical description.

Wait a minute! If the person had such a document, she/he would already have an acceptable form of voter ID under the Texas voter ID law. And don’t you get the feeling that a bureaucrat strictly enforcing this voter suppression law could reject almost any “identifying document”. Will the citizens of the state of Texas put up with this?

The best resource for the voter is the VoteRiders website. I have written sevreral articles on the subject and have summarized the VoteRiders program in “Elections 2013 and beyond – VoteRiders mobilizes national effort to deal with voter ID laws” . Other background is provided in “How to get a voter ID to vote in Texas elections”.

VoteRiders has partnered with Empower The Vote Texas Education Fund and Texas Civic Engagement Table to hold the first Texas Voter ID Clinic this Saturday 9/21/2013 at NCI Ripley House, 4410 Navigation, Houston, TX 77011! The Clinic will be held from 9am to 1pm. Please call 888-557-5150 to pre-register or for more information.

In Hawaii an applicant needs a photo ID to secure a copy of a birth certificate and other records. That must be changed and I hope the Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie will correct this failing.

I am interested in hearing  from some  Texans  about the process of getting a birth certificate  and about the process of getting a voter ID.  Since voter fraud is almost non-existent according to reputable independent studies, why set up hurdles to voting that are as ridiculous as this one?