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Texas Voter ID Law goes into effect
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
The Texas Voter ID Law usually sparks controversy. Some people say it prevents voter fraud, others say it keeps people from voting. Early voting began this Monday in advance of the November 5th election. This is the first election with the new Voter ID Law in effect.
We asked people walking into Beaumont City Hall, an early voting location, about their thoughts on the new law.
"You need an ID for anything. If you go to the hospital, the first thing they ask is for your ID. So, yes we need an ID [to vote], I totally agree with that," said Clara Aiena.
Gaylyn Cooper disagrees.
"We've been voting for however many years, a hundred years or so, and nobody has ever questioned the ID of the person who's voting," said Cooper. "Now all the sudden the whole state is suspect and we have to show who we are. That's just not right."
A State Trooper says most Texans have an ID they can use to vote.
"So it's the people who don't have a Texas driver's license, who don't have a Texas ID card, who don't have a Texas concealed handgun license, or a U.S. Military identification with a photo, or someone who doesn't have a U.S. citizenship certificate, or a certificate of naturalization," said Trooper Stephanie Davis with the Beaumont District Office.
Another acceptable form of identification is a U.S. passport. People without one of these seven acceptable forms of ID can apply for a free Election Identification Certificate at any Department of Public Safety office.
"They're going to check a couple things," said Davis. "Number one, that you are a Texas resident, number two that you are eligible to vote."
Davis says people applying for an EID (Election Identification Certificate) need to bring an original or certified birth certificate.
"We're going to be looking for U.S. citizenship paper work, or a certificate of naturalization," she said.
EIDs are free, remain valid for six years, and do not expire for anyone over the age of 70. People can apply for one at any Department of Public Safety office. They will receive a paper certificate with a photo so that they can immediately vote. A hard copy will be delivered in the mail in four to six weeks.
Four mobile EID stations will be in Orange County, Texas, Monday, October 28th, and Tuesday, October 29th. They will be located at the City of Orange Public Library, Bridge City City Hall, the First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, and the UTMB Clinic in Vidor at the Raymond Gould Community Center. The stations will be open between 9am and 4pm.