State Watch

97-year-old former San Antonio mayor turned away from voting for not having proper ID

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Lila Cockrell, the 97-year-old former mayor of San Antonio, was reportedly turned away from voting last week after she arrived without proper identification.

Cockrell was among more than 12,000 residents who went to vote last week in the San Antonio mayoral race runoff election, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

{mosads}Cockrell, the first female mayor of the city, said she was disappointed that she was turned away for not having her driver’s license with her she arrived at her polling location.

“I’m 97, I don’t drive anymore,” Cockrell told the news outlet. “I haven’t been on a cruise or anything in years.”

Bexar County elections administrator Jacque Callanen told the news outlet that the officials working recognized Cockrell but had to follow the law when the former mayor did not present identification.

“It was uncomfortable for the election officials to tell her, ‘No.’ Obviously, they knew who she was,” Callanen said. “But the law is the law. The election officials did what they’re supposed to do.”

The new outlet notes there was previously a method in Texas to allow election officials to account for people they know personally, but that process was removed recently as the state tightened its ID requirements.

“There was always a provision when someone came into vote that if election officials knew who that person was, they just checked a box if they didn’t have an ID,” Callenen said. “That’s how it used to be. They took that provision away.”

Two former San Antonio mayors came to Cockrell’s support and expressed their frustration over the incident.

“You know, that is such a crying shame,” current Bexar County Judge and former San Antonio Mayor Nelson Wolff told the Express-News. “I wish there was a way to get around that. Something should have been done to help her. It’s just terrible.”

Texas’ current voter ID law requires residents to bring at least one of seven forms of identification in order to be able to vote.

Cockrell said she brought her voter registration card to the early voting polling site Wednesday but did not have a driver’s license. She came back Thursday to vote, using her passport as ID.

Tags Voter ID laws voter law

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