Weatherford Democrat

February 8, 2014

Voting the Wright way

Former mayor, House Speaker Jim Wright to discuss ballot casting during Democrats’ phone bank Wednesday


Weatherford Democrat

— From Staff Reports

Former Weatherford mayor and U.S. Speaker of the House Jim Wright almost missed being able to cast a ballot in last November’s state constitutional amendments election.

He wants to help people avoid the same problem in the March 4 primary elections.

Wright will join Parker County Democrats at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Weatherford Public Library to conduct a phone bank to call more than 1,800 people who were mailed pre-populated letters to request an annual ballot by mail.

“If you missed the article in the Weatherford Democrat on the issues former Speaker of the House Wright had in the last elections, he will personally share his experience with us,” said Judy Beeman. “We want to make sure those eligible to vote by mail do not encounter what he did. We want to encourage them to simply sign and return the request for the annual ballot by mail.”

Early voting in the primary elections begins Feb. 18, ending on Feb. 28. The last day to apply for a ballot by mail is Feb. 21. The deadline has passed for people to register to vote and participate in the March primaries. 

Wright last year had troubles obtaining the newly required state voter identification card. Wright, now 91 years of age, lacked the documents needed to obtain a voter ID card, being turned away when he presented an expired driver’s license and university faculty ID.

Wright was able to receive a temporary version of state ID to prove his identity under Texas’ Voter ID law. The longtime Texas Democrat called the process a “nuisance,” saying prospective voters should be welcomed, not distrusted.

In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 14 (SB 14) creating a new requirement for voters to show photo identification when voting in person. Voters are now required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas elections. Under the law, acceptable forms of identification needed to cast a ballot are a:

• Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

• Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS.

• Texas personal identification card issued by DPS.

• Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS

• United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph.

• United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph.

• United States passport.

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place, according the Texas Secretary of State’s office. More information about voting in Texas can be found at VoteTexas.gov.