TX Gov. Candidate Greg Abbott Victim Of His Own Voter Suppression Law

Current Texas Attorney General and 2014 Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott nearly took away his own right to vote. As the Lone Star State’s Attorney General, Abbott has been a zealous proponent of the Voter ID that includes a provision requiring the name on the ID to exactly match the name on the voter roll. He has also accused opponents of the voter ID law of trying to “incite racial violence”.

Fortunately, Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis, who, like Abbott, is also running for Governor, added an amendment to the law that allows a voter to sign an affidavit saying they are the person on the voting roll as long as the names are “substantially similar.” Wendy Davis’ name appears as Wendy Russell Davis on her driver’s license, while it shows up simply as Wendy Davis on the voting roll. Consequently, Wendy Davis is required to sign an affidavit in order to vote.

Greg Abbott’s driver’s license reads Gregory Wayne Abbott, but his name on the voter rolls just reads Greg Abbott. The irony was not lost on Wendy Davis’ spokesperson Bo Delp who noted that:

If it weren’t for Wendy Davis? leadership, Greg Abbott might have nearly disenfranchised himself.

While the Abbott campaign will no doubt point out that because the law nearly disenfranchised their own guy, it is a fair law that does not discriminate, there is no way to spin this ludicrous law as anything but an impediment to ordinary citizens’ rights to cast their votes. The law is likely to disproportionately disenfranchise women, minorities, low-income persons, students, and the elderly. The fact that the two major candidates for Governor have to file affidavits to exercise their rights to vote just demonstrates how absurdly restrictive the law is. Frankly, since Abbott is such a big fan of the law, it would be nice if the poll workers determined that “Gregory Wayne Abbott” and “Greg Abbott” are not substantially similar names. Maybe then, once the law worked against him, Mr. Abbott would finally understand what “all the fuss” is about.

Edited/Published by: SB

Keith Brekhus is a progressive sociologist who resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. Keith is a former Green Party candidate for US Congress (2002 in Missouri's 9th District). He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus.