Texas elector says he couldn't vote amid voter ID confusion

Chris Suprun, one of two Texas Republican electors who refused to vote for Donald Trump in the Electoral College, says he was twice turned away from voting in the general election. 

(From a Texas Tribune Story by Jim Malewitz Dec. 29, 2016)

(Pix above - Elector Chris Suprun at the Electoral College vote in the Texas House on Dec. 19, 2016.  Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Chris Suprun, a Texas Republican elector, caused a stir this year by raising the possibility that he would cast his Electoral College ballot for someone other than President-elect Donald Trump.

Journalists bombarded the Dallas man with questions following his admission. Among them: For whom did he vote in November?

He didn’t vote, it turns out. But he says he tried.

“I would have voted for myself. I didn't get that chance,” Suprun told The Texas Tribune.

Suprun chose Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Dec. 19th Electoral College vote. (Trump nabbed 36 of the 38 Texas ballots.) When he tried to vote weeks before, he said, poll workers denied his general election ballot for want of photo identification. 

The self-described "voting addict" was an apparent casualty of the confusion amid legal wrangling over the state’s 2011 voter ID law. Now, Suprun is calling for courts to clarify the rules once and for all.”

“Pick a course and run with it,” he urged U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, of Corpus Christi, in a letter dated Dec. 21.

 “I write this because after not being able to cast a ballot I was disheartened,” the letter said. “I never missed an election in my life until this one.” 

In July, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas' voter ID law discriminated against voters in minority groups less likely to possess one of seven accepted types of identification. The state has appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Ramos is weighing whether Texas discriminated on purpose.

Ahead of the November election, Ramos ordered a temporary fix: Folks without ID could still vote if they presented an alternate form of ID and signed a form swearing a “reasonable impediment” kept them from obtaining photo ID.

That’s why Suprun believed he could vote when he showed up to an early voting location in Glenn Heights on Oct. 26, even though he did not have photo ID.

Suprun said his driver’s license was inside his wallet, which he had left in a family van that was away for repairs. He said he arrived at the polls carrying his city water bill, cable bill and voter registration card — documents that should have fit Ramos’ softened rules.

(Summing up the rest of the lengthy Texas Tribune story, The Election Judge turned him down at that polling place, so he went to a different polling place in that same district. He was turned down there too. He later refused to cast his Electoral Ballot for Donald Trump.)