Texas Voter ID Law Exempts Elderly, Gun Owners

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 3 2011 10:32 AM

Texas Voter ID Law Exempts Elderly, Gun Owners

In Texas, where Republicans won massive midterm election victories for the state legislature, a bill requiring driver's licenses from voters is sailing through to passage. Democrats failed to amend the law to allow non-photo IDS -- pieces of mail, for example -- as proof enough for voting. Luckily, Republicans and some Democrats have softened the bill to make it easier for two kinds of voters.

- Voters born in 1931 or earlier do not have to show a photo ID.

Advertisement

- Gun owners who have concealed handgun licenses can use them to prove their identities.

I'll stress it again: These were bipartisan changes to the law. They are also going to help Republican voters. In 2008, a decent year for Texas Democrats but the last one for which exit polls are available, John McCain beat Barack Obama by 34 points among voters who were 65 and older; McCain had only won statewide by 10 points. We don't have a clean poll like this that tells us how gun owners voted in 2008, but the data is clear; gun owners favor Republicans.

Now, it's not easy to get a concealed handgun license. Showing one does prove that you're a citizen. That law makes sense. It just so happens that both of these exemptions benefit Republicans.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?