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Former U.S. House Speaker Wright Denied Voter ID

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Brian New
Brian joined the CBS 11 News team in 2013 after working a...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDDFW.COM) - The new Texas voter ID law is supposed to keep frauds away from the election poles – not a former United States congressman.

On Saturday former Speaker of the House Jim Wright of Fort Worth was denied a voter ID card.

Wright, who hasn’t driven in years, realized last week his driver’s license was expired and, knowing the new law, went to a Fort Worth Department of Public Safety office to get a State of Texas Election Identification Certificate so he could vote on Tuesday.

He brought his expired driver’s license, his voter registration card, and a TCU faculty photo identification card.

He was told that wasn’t enough and would have to return on Monday with a certified copy of his birth certificate.

“For me it’s worth it because I value the franchise of voting,” said Wright.

However, Wright said he worries the hassle for others may keep them away from voting and that bothers the man who served 34 years in the House.

As a member of Congress, Wright helped pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, outlawing discriminatory voting practices.

He also supported lowering the voting age to 18.

“My whole life I have spent trying to expand the voters and the size of the elections,” he said from his Fort Worth home.  “I just have an instinctive feeling that every American citizen that wants to vote ought to be allowed to vote.”

Election officials stress people with no valid photo ID will still be allowed to cast ballots on Tuesday.

It will be a provisional vote and in most cases they will have a week to go down to the county election’s office with a photo id to ensure their vote counts.

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