Locals Voice Voter ID Concerns

Published 10/31 2013 06:19PM

Updated 10/31 2013 06:33PM

Marty Martin never liked the idea of the Voter ID law. But, he also never thought it would apply to him.

"I was against it because I thought it would be discriminatory to minorities," Martin says. "It never occured to me that it would be discriminatory to me."

But, when Martin when in to vote on Wednesday, he was shocked when poll workers initially told him that he couldn't.

"I gave my ID and voter registration to the lady behind the counter," he recounts. "She looked at them, compared them, and said 'I'm sorry, you can't vote, because the names don't match.'"

The problem was that his voter registration had his full middle name. However, his driver's license only had the middle initial.

Martin says he was eventually allowed to cast a ballot, but only after he caused a fuss.

"I think unless you're really committed to voting, most people would have just backed away before I did," he says. 

Former city councilwoman Maggie Trejo says she had a similar experience.

She encountered issues because her driver's license includes her maiden name. Her voter registration does not.

"Something like this could really make people not want to vote," says Trejo, regarding hassle at the polls.

Despite these allegations, the local elections office tells us names don't need to be identical. They only need to be reasonably similar.

"The way that it works with the new Voter ID law is that the name on your voter ID must be similar to what name you've registered," according to elections spokeswoman Kim Davis. "It has to be similar."

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