Edinburg holds first ID-required election

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POSTED: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 4:09pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 7:26am

On Wednesday, the election for Edinburg's open city council seat is going to happen. Everybody who goes to vote in the early election and on election day September 14 will be asked for identification, such as a driver's license.  It's going to be the first time such a requirement will happen in Texas.  

The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for the new law to be implemented and the Texas State Legislature obliged.  The law requires all voters to produce a state-issued identification card. 

Richard Molina is one of the candidates in the Edinburg race, and he supports the law.  

"Personally, I think it's great that people are identified properly," Molina said.  "It's good that we're able to identify people that come out to the polls."  

A special election involving three candidates is rare in Edinburg.  Molina's two opponents weren't able to be reached for this story.  

Opponents of the state-ID requirement say it could disproportionately affect minority voters. Several civil rights groups and the Department of Justice are lining up lawsuits to block the law.  

Molina says he's hopful of a strong voter turnout, even offering to help voters get rides to polling places on election day.  But his efforts aren't going to help those without identification.  

"We didn't want to consume a lot of time getting people down to the DPS office and getting them their IDs," he said.  "But had it been a regular election, I'm sure we would've worked heavily getting people their identification and the proper things they needed to vote."  

Opponents of the new state-ID law hope that enough information can be taken from this election to have it suspended for the November elections.  

Last week a Brownsville woman was charged with voting multiple times.  But that was with absentee ballots.  

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