North Texas elections administrators are working to train poll workers on new Texas voter ID laws.
Administrators are working from guidance just handed down by the Secretary of State in late August after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Texas' voter ID law was discriminatory earlier in the summer. A lower court was ordered to come up with rules to get through the November election.
“I've been here for 29 years and this one is more intense that I've ever seen it, based upon some of the emails we've received, some of the calls we've received,” said Toni Pippins-Poole, Dallas County Elections Administrator.
People who don't have official ID and can't get one can now use things like voter registration cards, utility bills, or bank statements to vote as long as they sign a special affidavit given to them by a poll worker.
“We have to let them know exactly what forms to fill out, what to look for, how to really say it, you can't question their reason for having or not having the seven forms of ID,” said Pippins-Poole.
Appellate attorney Chad Ruback, who's followed the voter ID case closely in Texas, points out election officials are working under intense scrutiny. Donald Trump continues to allege rigging on a national level and the feds are watching how Texas election officials follow the latest court order.
“This is going to be a highly contentious election, it's going to be an election with lots of fingers pointed each way and the poll workers are all having to learn a brand new way of doing things and not given much time to learn it,” Ruback said.
As poll workers across the state study the rules, voters will also have to take note.
“We are trying to let people know you have options now. It's a little bit easier for you now, so you have options.”
Voters can expect to see signs at their polling places listing what forms of official government ID are ok. If you have ID, you are still told to bring it. If you don't, that's when you're allowed to show seven other types of documentations long as you sign an affidavit.
Certain Texas Driver’s License offices plan to be open this Saturday and next Saturday to issue special election ID certificates free of charge.