AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a statement Monday after learning about allegedly misleading and incorrect election advice being circulated by a lawyer representing the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.
Jose Garza advises the caucus on voting rights and redistricting issues. Abbott alleges that in a recent article, Garza encouraged Texans to violate or ignore voter identification law by not bringing one of the acceptable forms of ID to vote.
"In an attempt to create a false impression that voter ID suppresses votes, the unethical advice is to come to the polls without the needed ID - even if you might have one - in order to make it look like voter ID laws suppress votes," Abbott said. "The only person working to suppress votes is Mr. Garza and his unethical advice not to follow the law and not to present IDs that voters already have or can obtain for free."
In the state of Texas, accepted forms of photo ID to vote at the polls in all elections include a Texas driver's license, Texas personal identification card, U.S. passport book or card, Texas concealed handgun license, U.S. military identification with photo, U.S. citizenship certificate or certificate of naturalization with photo or an election identification certificate.
Abbott said that failing to follow state law by not bringing an ID will not force Texans to be turned away from the polls. Voters without an ID will be given a provisional ballot which will be counted when the voter presents photo identification to the voter registrar within six days of the election.
"As the news article correctly points out, failing to follow state law by not bringing an ID if you have one or have the ability to get one between now and the election will only result in your vote not being counted when it could and should have," Abbott said.
Abbott referred to voting as one of the most important rights of Texans. Texas residents without the necessary forms of ID can obtain a free election identification certificate at all Department of Public Safety driver license offices.