LONGVIEW (Staff/AP) — Driver’s license offices across the state opened their doors Thursday for Texans seeking a state-issued photo ID card to vote. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report the Department of Public Safety is not expecting a Texas flood, but says Longview and other offices are equipped and ready to issue the picture identification cards. After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that Texas no longer must have federal approval to change election practices, voters are required to have one of seven forms of photo ID to cast ballots. The ruling opened the door for Texas Secretary of State John Steen to declare the voter ID law, which had been jammed in the same court battle, is valid and in immediate effect. At least one lawsuit has already been filed against the voter ID law since the Supreme Court ruling.
But don’t go to your county elections office. Only the DPS license offices are issuing the state IDs locally, said Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy. She anticipates people mistakenly calling her office to get the IDs. “We do not have the ID; we do not have any applications for the ID,” she said. “What I do want to express is if you have a driver’s license, you’re fine. You don’t have to get a new form of ID, because (the driver’s license) is on the list.” Nealy said her staff is prepared to undergo training in the voter ID law, and election judges will be versed in what forms of ID are acceptable at the polls. The next elections are in November, when several state constitutional amendments are up.