DALLAS — 51 years ago President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, and today ten groups gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center to celebrate the momentous occasion.
“The groups gather today to commemorate the anniversary acknowledge the historic importance and to remember how it came to pass only after many years of effort and great sacrifice,” said Arthur Fleming, president of the Dallas NAACP.
But five decades later, some say the Voting Rights Act is being undermined by a number of Voter ID laws.
Texas, in particular, has been at the center of a huge controversy with their ID law and last month the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals weakened the ID requirements to cast a ballot, but it’s also led to a lot of confusion.
So if you don’t have a photo ID, what do you need to make your voice be heard on election day?
“If you have a copy of your voter registration certificate, that’s sufficient,” explained Dave Jones of Clean Elections Texas. “A certified birth certificate, a current utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, a paycheck or any other government document that displays your name and address.”
So hopefully that helps clean up the muddy waters of what’s required this November. As for the future, it’s pretty clear that fights over ID laws, that some say are discriminatory and others say are necessary to prevent fraud, are a long way from over.
After all, 51 years hasn’t solved them so far!