Texas Voter ID Law and the 2022 primaries

John Perry Jr knows how important voting is. The 72-year-old first voted in 1969 at the height of the civil rights movement and a poignant period for black Americans. Perry told CNN he’s been inspired to vote since he was a child when he encountered police trauma while playing with friends at the park when he was 17.

“That kind of radicalized me. My hometown is (sic) a fairly small black population. So I and others are frequently the recipients of what I call driver-related racism. They would drive past and roll down their windows and shout, ‘Let’s get back to Africa,’ said Perry, a native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The difficult experience left him with a permanent scar over his right eye, which led him to become active in civic activism, including participating in voter registration and education activities. Perry disagreed with the new restrictions on voting and said the law did not stop him, especially as he recalls the struggle black Americans endured to win the right to vote.

“Those people were literally killed, murdered for the right to vote. Sitting in the voter registration line could get you killed, fired from your job, burned down your house. So no matter what they’re throwing at us right now, nothing compares to that. Now if we can get through that and get through it, then regardless of Texas, Georgia and all these other states, we can get through that too,” Perry said.

Perry, despite being eligible to vote by mail, said he would never choose that option. He likes to go live. This year, voting by mail has encountered a number of difficulties, including high rejection rates and some ballots even reaching the wrong office.

“I love the idea of ​​showing up at a polling station, being there in person for it. I have never voted by mail. And I never will,” Perry, a Democrat, told CNN.

Perry voted early, in person at his regular polling station in Fresno, Texas, without issue. Coincidentally, the county where Perry resides, Fort Bend, has just renamed its law library after Willie Melton, a civil rights activist who challenged all-white primaries. The case was eventually brought to the U.S. Supreme Court and ended the system of all-white primaries in Fort Bend County.

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