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Voter ID laws not only don't target minorities, they have no effect on turnout either

All this talk of voter ID laws targeting minorities makes me sick ("Messing with voting rights in Texas," Oct. 20).

Your editorial mentions the millions of people who lack an official government ID. The question is what those millions of people can actually do without an official ID, because here are some things they cannot do:

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Get a job; apply for unemployment, welfare, food stamps or Medicaid; rent or buy a residence or a cell phone; drive a car; buy alcohol or cigarettes; get a prescription or buy cold medicine; receive Social Security.

Considering that your editorial claimed most of these millions are poor, elderly and minorities, that would mean there's virtually no government assistance for them. Not true.

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On the other hand, government IDs in Texas are just $16 unless you are over the age of 60, in which case they're only $6 — and the state often will waive the fee in hardship cases.

Your editorial also fails to mention is that these ID laws have already been used in some Texas elections and that there has been no drop-off in the number of minorities who showed up at the polls. In fact there was a higher than expected turnout among minority voters during the Democratic gubernatorial primary earlier this year.

As a member of a minority group myself, I hate it when others try and tell me what is and is not racist, discriminatory or disenfranchising. People who have actually suffered through it know what that looks like, and voter ID laws don't remotely qualify as such.

C. Ramirez, Dallas, Texas

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