Your boss is reluctant to give you any time off. It's still near enough the beginning of the semester that the store is pretty busy. However, they agree that voting is an important duty and grant you [[two hours]] on Wednesday, the 23rd.\n
The store has been so busy that you're sure your boss won't give you any time off. You really don't want to have to [[skip class|bad end]], but if that is the price of democracy, then so be it.
You are Alexis Johnson. You're 18 years old. You grew up in San Antonio, Texas. You wanted to go to college in a different city, but still be close to home so you could see your family (and take advantage of that sweet in-state tuition!). Some of your friends laughed when you told them you were going to [[Sul Ross State University]], in Alpine, but something about this small town of 6,000 about a hundred miles from Big Bend State Park and the Mexican border called out to you. It is October 21, 2012. There is an [[election]] in <html><a href="http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2013dates.shtml">14 days</a></html>.\n
Luckily, there's a polling station on campus, and it opens at 7. You get up early to cast your vote. You're pretty sure you won't be the one deciding any close races, but you're glad that your voice was counted. You text a picture of your "I voted" sticker to your parents, and they tell you how proud they are of you.
Your family raised you to respect the institutions of American governance. Your birthday is in late November, so you weren't able to vote in the 2012 election by just a couple of weeks. You're really excited to [[cast your vote]] in this election.\n
It's not like your vote was going to change the outcome of the election, anyway. You send an email to your parents complaining about the new voter ID law. They don't like it either, but it's the law. They remind you that you can still vote on a [[provisional ballot]], though.
You're in luck! You have to ask three friends, but you finally find someone willing to lend you their bike on [[Wednesday]].
You'll have to either [[ask for time off work]] or [[skip class]].
Now that you think of it, you don't have the <html><a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx">required ID</a></html>! Your parents lived close enough to your high school that you could walk, and your friends were always willing to give you a ride when you went to hang out with them. Now, you live and work on campus, so you had no need to get a car. You'll have to find a way to get to the [[Department of Public Safety]] to get an ID card.\n
You heard about the new voting laws that the state congress pushed through after Section IV of the Voting Rights Act was overturned in June. You don't really know what to think about them, though. Both sides seem to have merit: fraudulent votes, especially in small towns like Alpine, could definitely affect the outcome of elections, but so could votes that weren't cast because the voter couldn't get the [[required ID]].\n
The bike ride is only fifteen minutes each way, more than enough time for you to get there, get your ID, and get back to work a little bit early. Your boss congratulates you, and you look forward to [[election day]].
Two hours is not actually a lot of time. The DPS is <html><a href="https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!data=!4m28!3m22!1m5!1sSul+Ross+State+University%2C+Alpine%2C+TX+79832!2s0x86efda08b365e39f%3A0x4df03ce59e839f80!3m2!3d30.363443!4d-103.650019!1m5!1s3500+Texas+118%2C+Alpine%2C+TX+79830!2s0x86efda5a5153b66f%3A0x2153dabe7f6f2621!3m2!3d30.3879318!4d-103.6746513!2e2!3m8!1m3!1d23880!2d-103.6616179!3d30.3732129!3m2!1i1366!2i666!4f13.1!7m4!11m3!1m1!1e1!2b1&fid=0">three miles away</a></html>, half of which is highway with no sidewalk. Even if you felt safe walking, Google Maps estimates that it will take an hour each way. That definitely doesn't give you enough [[time]] to get your ID.
You're willing to skip one class, but two is pusing it; your education is just as important to you as your franchise. Maybe one of your friends has [[a bike|bad end 2]] that you could borrow.
You have always loved the outdoors, and are considering majoring in Natural Resource Management, one of [[SRSU's|Start]] specialities. \n
No, you really aren't. You're working hard to keep your grades up, and it's not always easy. Missing two straight classes would be [[too much]].
You ask around, but somehow you don't know anyone with a bike. Are you willing to skip [[two classes|bad end 3]] for the chance to vote?\n
You check the DPS's website and see that they're only <html><a href="http://texas.drivinguniversity.com/department-of-public-safety/dps-office-locations/alpine-dps-office-locations/texas-department-of-public-safety-alpine-office.htm">open 8:30-5:00, Monday through Friday</a></html>. [[That's really inconvenient.]] You're in class until at least 1 PM every day, with a half hour break after that before you start your shift at the campus book store. You get off at 6.\n
You check Google Maps to see where the DPS actually is. <html><a href="https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!data=!4m28!3m22!1m5!1sSul+Ross+State+University%2C+Alpine%2C+TX+79832!2s0x86efda08b365e39f%3A0x4df03ce59e839f80!3m2!3d30.363443!4d-103.650019!1m5!1s3500+Texas+118%2C+Alpine%2C+TX+79830!2s0x86efda5a5153b66f%3A0x2153dabe7f6f2621!3m2!3d30.3879318!4d-103.6746513!2e2!3m8!1m3!1d23880!2d-103.6616179!3d30.3732129!3m2!1i1366!2i666!4f13.1!7m4!11m3!1m1!1e1!2b1&fid=0">Three miles away, half of which is highway with no sidewalk</a></html>. It will take you an hour each way, and who knows how long to actually get your ID. You'd have to skip [[two classes]].
What could you do to shorten the trip? All of your friends on campus are in similar situations to you, so no one has a car. Maybe you could borrow [[a bike|good end]]?\n
Ian Stewart\nWRTG 2010\nTiffany Kinney\n12/12/13
You look up what you need to vote provisionally. It turns out that you have to bring the required ID to the voter registrar within six days after the election. You're back to square one. It looks like your vote won't be counted this time. Maybe you can get an ID when you visit your parents over winter break.