Weatherford Democrat

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November 5, 2013

Jim Wright gets his voter ID card; local resident not as lucky

From Staff and Wire Reports

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Jim Wright was able to resolve his problem obtaining a new Texas Voter ID card in time for Tuesday’s election. A Weatherford resident was not as fortunate.

Wright, a former World War II bombardier, Weatherford resident and mayor, Congressman and now a Fort Worth resident, says he’s finally obtained the documents he needs to vote under new state law on Election Day. Wright told The Associated Press on Monday that he received a temporary version of a state ID that proves his identity under Texas’ Voter ID law, which gets its first major test in Tuesday’s election.

Wright, 90, was turned away last week when he tried to obtain proper ID with an expired driver’s license or university faculty ID.

The longtime Texas Democrat says he is concerned about the “nuisance” involved in the process. He says prospective voters should be welcomed, not distrusted.

State Republican officials said the elderly could use mail-in ballots or cast provisional votes that give them a week after the election to get proper ID.

Weatherford resident Lisa Blevins was not as lucky. She said getting a voter ID card became a long, drawn-out experience. Blevins and her husband moved here from Midland in May and have been trying to obtain their voter IDs through the Department of Public Safety ever since. She never received it from the county, which originally said they lost the application.

She said she then tried to vote provisionally and was told she needed to go back to the Department of Public Safety, and that her provisional vote might not even count because that was decided by an election committee.

She then contacted the Secretary of State’s office, which referred her to Parker County Election Administrator Robert Parten, who apologized for the problems she was having. Blevins said Tuesday morning that she and her husband were told by Parten to come in Wednesday morning to apply once again, leaving them unable to vote in Tuesday’s election.

Blevins said the whole ordeal was frustrating, but she said she was relieved to know she apparently will be able to vote in future elections.

“I would have like to have voted in the election, but I really wanted to be able to vote in the ‘big boy’ election,” Blevins said.

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