Elections Dept. works to inform voters of change new ID law brin - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Elections Dept. works to inform voters of change new ID law brings

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North Texas residents whose names on their state-issued photo IDs don't exactly match the names on their voter registrations may soon be getting a letter from Dallas County Elections.

The Elections Department is trying to solve any potential voting problems before the March Primaries and November elections by sending out letters in English and Spanish. Those letters explain that voters' names on their photo IDs must match their names on the official list of registered voters.

The name-match game is because of the Voter ID Bill that's now law in Texas.

"We have increased our staff for this mailing and we've also increased our staff to answer the phones," said Toni Pippins-Poole, a Dallas County Elections administrator. 

If the name on an acceptable form of photo ID does not exactly match the name on a voter's registration card, there could be a problem when he or she goes to vote.

There is a remedy that can take place at the polls, but it will slow down the process.

"The effect of that would be lines that can stretch for hours, and all that has the effect of making people less likely to get their voices heard and their vote counted," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins is one of the nearly 200,000 to get a letter from Dallas County Elections.

"I've got four names because I was adopted later in life and they are all correct, but they're slightly different," said Jenkins.

"In some sense the letter is a little bit…the timing is a little bit suspect, but I support efforts to make sure that people who vote are the people who are registered to vote," said Dallas County Republican Chairman Wade Emmert.

The Elections Department is trying to make sure that vote happens without hassle.

The mailings cost the county $79,000.

The county is considering doing more of those mailings and even return-postage mailings so residents won't have to use an envelope or stamp.

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