Texas man flagged at poll for using state-issued voter ID

ByAlana Rocha, Todd Wiseman and Justin Dehn, The Texas Tribune
Monday, October 26, 2020
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TARRANT COUNTY, Texas -- It's always been smooth sailing for Mike Wright when it comes to voting. But this election, he said he hit a slight bump at a Tarrant County polling place after showing his state-issued photo ID.

Knowing the importance of this election, Wright said he was determined to make his voice heard.

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"You can't be an active part of the community without knowing what's going in your community," he said. "When you have an opportunity to express yourself and have a voice in decision-making, then by not participating, you just eliminate yourself out of that process."

Wright has an election identification certificate, which is issued by the state and is used only for voting. The certificates are free and applicants have to show proof of citizenship and identity to obtain one.

"I wanted an ID that was going to be on hand and that was eligible for the standards that Texas asked at the time, and that was the one that came through the quickest," said Wright.

When he provided his ID at the check-in, the ID was accepted. But, when he was given his tags to go to the next station to pick up the ballot, he was told he had to sign an affidavit because the machine didn't recognize the certificate as an eligible license.

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After the polling director made a few phone calls, Wright was able to cast his ballot. He said no one was sure why the EIC (Election Identification Certificate) caused this sort of bump in the process.

"The stuff I had to go through didn't make any kind of real sense, given the nature of the idea itself," said Wright.

Despite it turning into an irritating process, Wright said he was glad he stuck around and got everything cleared up.

"I could see very easily there's a part of you that says, 'Maybe I should just go,' but this was important enough to me that I wanted to make sure my ballot was in," he said.

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The video above is from a previous story.