After reading a glowing review of the life and accomplishments of Ashbel Smith – the largest slaveowner in the area that would later become Baytown – I noticed an incredulous reader asked a very pertinent question regarding voter ID laws: “Who doesn’t have an ID?” 

It turns out there are over 600,000 registered voters in Texas that don’t have a government-issued photo ID. Many are disabled, elderly, low-income, or located in rural areas of Texas where the nearest ID office can be up to 170 miles away. In addition, the racial disparities are clear – up to 25% of African American adults don’t have a government-issued photo ID compared to 8% of whites.

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