Texas officials say they are spending millions of dollars to help voters understand and meet the new ID requirements, including deploying mobile offices to help citizens apply for election IDs. "We just haven't seen any large-scale problem," said Alicia Pierce, the communications director for the Texas secretary of state.
I have lived here since the voter ID laws were passed. I listen to a local, Texas-focussed radio news program every day for an hour. I listen to one of the best local NPR news outlets in the country. I keep up, in other words, with Texas news.
I've never heard of this "million dollar outreach program." I'd also point out the number of registered voters in Texas is 14,238,436, per the Texas SOS. So spending even $15 million would barely be over $1.00 per voter. And if you think Texas is spending anywhere near $15 million on voter ID, you don't know Texas. And "mobile offices"? The metropolitan area of Houston covers 10,062 square miles. The Dallas/Fort Worth "Metroplex" MSA covers 9,286 square miles. This doesn't even take into consideration the other large cities in Texas: San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Midland/Odessa, Abilene. Now consider what "millions of dollars" mean in a state this big, with this many registered voters.
Drop, meet bucket. And no "large scale problem"? That would be because Democrats are not defeating Republicans in numbers calculated to concern the Powers That Be. Like we say down here: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
I could not find anything from the Texas SOS to substantiate the "millions of dollars" number they gave the NYT. I did find an estimated a state fiscal estimate for costs for "Voter Outreach and Education" for what would have been the new law, on the last page of this 2011 study. The estimated cost of outreach and education: "$2,000,000.00."
Well, it is "millions of dollars." It's also about $0.14 per registered voter.
No wonder they haven't seen any large scale problem.