Ann McGeehan, director of the Secretary of State’s elections division, said last week at a seminar in Austin that photo ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are not acceptable forms of military ID to vote, according to a recording provided by the Texas Democratic Party.
Jordy Keith, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state, backpedaled Friday on that determination.
“It was an informal Q&A, and (McGeehan) was answering based on what was expressly called out in Senate Bill 14,” Keith said. “Right now our office has not issued a final determination on that.”
Janice McCoy, spokeswoman for state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, a major author of the bill, acknowledged that it does not include the VA card as an acceptable form of photo identification.
State Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, sponsored Fraser’s bill in the House.
Surprised by the controversy, Harless said on Friday that she understood the bill to encompass VA cards.
“It’s my opinion that any military identification card issued by the government was one of the acceptable forms of ID in the Texas voter ID legislation,” she said.
Remember, this was emergency legislation. You’d think for something that important, they might have a better idea of what exactly the effects of it would be. I suppose if they cared what those effects were, they might. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and State Rep. Joe Farias called attention to this, and good for them. Maybe the Secretary of State will rule that VA cards can be used as ID – surely they’re as good as concealed handgun licenses, right? – but the fact that this is even in doubt says a lot. PDiddie has more.