Next Chapter Meeting – Thursday, September 13

September MFSA Meeting Will Focus on
“Possible Impacts of Revised Texas Voter ID Laws”

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd, Austin, TX 78756

September 13, 7:00pm

Forty-seven years ago (August 6, 1965), President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA) into law to prevent voter discrimination.  But as we have seen, the law is not just history; it remains vital TODAY to ensuring that every American can cast a ballot and have it counted (League of Women Voters, August 2012).

The 1965 Voting Rights Act aimed to end literacy tests and other requirements that prevented people, many of them African American, from voting.  Opponents of the new voter ID laws argue that requiring photo identification presents a significant barrier to casting a ballot.  Supporters say it is no different from current laws that require people to register to vote. The fate of Texas’ new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.

Texas is among eight states to require official photo identification in an effort to stop what officials say is voter fraud.  Opponents of the laws say they disenfranchise poor, minority and disabled voters.  The law, SB 14, requires voters to show one of a very narrow list of government-issued documents (not including Social Security, Medicaid, or student ID cards) to vote.  Gun licenses, however, are acceptable I.D. to vote.

The Justice Department in March rejected the Texas law, passed in 2011, using the state’s own statistics to show about 600,000 registered voters lack a state-issued driver’s license or identification card.  SB 14 amended an earlier voter identification law.

Join us as Rev. Richard Bates leads a discussion with Texas State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (invited) about the possible impact the new voter ID laws may have in Texas and other states in the upcoming Presidential election.

We will gather in the Fellowship Hall at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd, Austin at 6:30pm for snacks & mingling.  The program begins at 7:00.  We hope to see you there!

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