Voters to receive new cards by end of month

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

March 14, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2012 at 10:14 p.m.

New voter registration cards, which were held up while a federal court approved Texas' redistricting maps, are finally on their way out.

Victoria County Elections Administrator George Matthews said he expects the county's more than 45,000 registered voters to receive their cards by the end of the month. Since printing started Monday, already 27,000 have been made, he said.

"We've been waiting for it for a while," Matthews said.

He said the county was "lucky" compared to others still caught up in redistricting.

"Our changes were minimal as far as that," he said. "Larger counties are having to go street-by-street to make sure their election precincts match exactly."

Once voters receive their new cards, they may keep or discard their expired registration card, Matthews said.

Because the cards are government-issued, they count as an alternate form of identification when voting, Matthews said.

The Obama Administration blocked a proposed bill that would require Texas voters to present a state-issued ID before casting their ballots.

Matthews said the state still requires proof of identification, but the rules are broad. For example, a voter registration card counts as ID, he said.

Matthews said he was not anticipating a rush of new voters, either first-time voters or new county voters.

"For the most part, if they've moved to the area and they're interested in voting, they've already registered," he said. "If they are 18, and their parents are regular voters, they've already registered."

He said he sees the delay in registration cards sent out most affecting candidates who are making sure they get the votes they want.



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