Former Mayor Lila Cockrell Casts Ballot After ID Snag

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps former mayor Lila Cockrell out of a vehicle to so she can place her vote at Lion's Field Adult and Senior Center. Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps former mayor Lila Cockrell out of a vehicle to so she can place her vote at Lion's Field Adult and Senior Center.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps former Mayor Lila Cockrell out of a vehicle so she can cast her vote at Lions Field.

After she was turned away from a polling place Wednesday for not having required identification, former San Antonio Mayor Lila Cockrell cast her vote at Lions Field on Friday in the mayoral runoff election between Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) and Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

After hearing of the 97-year-old Cockrell’s initial, failed attempt to vote during the election’s early voting period, Nirenberg gave the first female mayor of San Antonio a ride to the polling station.

“I’ve missed very few elections,” Cockrell told the Rivard Report.

The rules surrounding voter identification have changed over the years, and election officials cannot let someone vote if they don’t have proper ID, even if they know who the voter is. On Wednesday, Cockrell was not permitted to vote because she did not have one of the required forms of identification.

On Friday, Cockrell brought additional documents with her along with her voter registration card. She declined to say who got her vote.

“I usually am in favor of a secret ballot,” she said. “I think [Nirenberg is] a very fine person.”

There are seven acceptable forms of identification voters can bring with them to a polling place, including a Texas driver’s license; passport; a personal identification card, Texas Election Identification Certificate, or license to carry a handgun issued by by the Texas Department of Public Safety; U.S. military ID that includes a photo; or a U.S. citizenship certificate with a photo.

In 2017, the Texas Legislature added an amendment to the controversial 2011 voter ID law that granted people the ability to sign a “reasonable impediment declaration” that allows them to bring other identifying documents such as as a paycheck or utility bill.

Early voting in the June 8 runoff, which also includes runoffs for three City Council seats, started Tuesday and continues through June 4. Polls are closed on Sunday.

Lila Cockrell exits the early voting site at Lion's Field Adult and Senior Center after voting successfully.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Former San Antonio Mayor Lila Cockrell exits the early voting site at Lions Field after voting.

“It was a unique and memorable experience to drive our mayor emeritus to the polls,” Nirenberg said.

The turnout for early voting has nearly doubled for the runoff compared to the May 4 election, with 36,923 voters casting ballots through Thursday.

Voters in districts 24, and 6 will see Council candidates on their ballot in addition to the mayor’s race. For more information, see the Rivard Report runoff election guide here.

23 thoughts on “Former Mayor Lila Cockrell Casts Ballot After ID Snag

  1. Why isn’t a voter registration card enough? Why make us register to vote if the card doesn’t serve any purpose? Texas voter laws are stupid.

  2. I think the real question should be why do we need to go to a polling place to vote. With today’s current technology we should be able to securely vote from our homes or mobile devices.

  3. Did not Mayor Cockrell vote in the May election? Or, was that one of the very few elections she missed? Something smells contrived about this non-event, I think.

    That being said, if I am fortunate enough to reach the age of 97 plus, I hope I have her continuing interest in getting to the polling station and casting my vote!

  4. Great photo. “Oregon was the easiest state to vote in in 2016, which makes sense given that Oregon allows mail-in voting and has implemented automatic voter registration. On the other end of spectrum is Mississippi, the most “difficult” state to vote in the US because of its voting policies, which includes a photo ID requirement at the polls and doesn’t allow for early voting. Texas is ranked near the last – #46 out of 50 – in terms of ‘Voter Ease in Casting a Ballot’.”

    • I have a friend who lives in Oregon and she absolutely loves the mail in voting. But people over 65(?) can vote by mail here, too.

  5. The law is the law for EVERYONE!!!! Why was the Mayor N.( a candidate) allowed to be in the election zone escorting her? That is also against the election law. We all love Lila but rules exist for a reason. How has she been allowed to vote before? If she did not have an ID for the runoff how was she able to vote in the actual election last month? Why do these intrepid reporters ask theses questions? Another example of selected enforcement of the rule of law.

    • Boy are you off your meds today? Calm down. She wasn’t allowed to vote and then she returned and was. Voting rules in Texas are ridiculous and we all know why. Despite there being almost 0 voter fraud in this state, the practices make it difficult. We all know who it is “they” don’t want to vote.

  6. The new voting machine previewed at Lions Field makes voting even more complicated. You use one machine to make choices. It produces a paper copy. You read the paper copy to make sure it is accurate and revise if necessary. Then you feed it into another machine to tabulate your votes. It seems like the GOP is trying to make voting more complicated and time consuming. This equates to standing in line longer and missing more work. Utilizing smart devices or computers from home with secure portals would not only make voting easier, but also increase the number of ballots cast. If you go to vote and discover you were hacked and a vote already cast a protocol is possible to delete those entries and start over.

  7. The Texas election law has been in place since 2017. I find it hard to believe the former Mayor, or those who assist her daily, were uninformed as to this fact. I also question if this is her first time voting since ‘17 – not judging, purely her choice. If she did vote post the law change without a photo ID, it’s clear the election judge(s) failed to uphold the law.

  8. This whole thing smells fishy to me. If she was aware enough to vote and knew of early voting, certainly she or her handlers would know the rules. How did she get to vote the first time? Certainly a former government official still mentally alert and engaged should know laws apply to all citizens. I moved my 88 year mother here from out of state and knew she would need an ID. I took a day off of work and took her to the DPS office and and got her the proper ID; the staff there is more than accommodating in this process. The Express News article mentioned that DPS visited Ms Cockrell at her condo the day after this occurred but they wouldn’t comment on what they were doing…talk about special treatment. I also want to know who alerted the press to this private matter???Why on earth would Niremberg insert himself in this? Isn’t that electioneering? Yet another example of his poor judgement. I’m now certain I made the right choice when I legally cast MY vote.

    • A candidate in the election commits an offense if the candidate is in a polling place during the period described by Subsection (a) for a purpose other than:
      (1) voting; or
      (2) official business in the building in which the polling place is located.
      It is an exception to the application of Subsection (b) that the candidate:
      (1) is not within plain view or hearing of the persons in the voting area or the area in which voters are being accepted for voting; and
      (2) is not engaged in campaign activity.
      This seems pretty clear. It is perfectly legal for Ron N to drive a friend to the polls as long as he is not electioneering. Maybe if you researched a little more, you would realize that what you thought was an example of poor judgment is not.

  9. A pic is worth …?? There are 7 forms of ID you can use to vote as stated in your article. I thought this story sounded like there was another story behind it…so thank you for the pic—now we see that this was a contrived story. A former mayor-a good one,IMO, doesn’t know she needs ID to vote?? Did she vote in May? How did this even become a story? Who alerted the press that she was not allowed to vote…and why? It’s the law…and a necessary one. There aren’t many things you can do without an ID-and you can get a personal ID from DPS…but to vote 6 other forms are available. For all the talk of securing elections ID is one way to minimize fraud. And sure enough there is RN taking her to the polls which by itself has him advocating for doing away with voter ID—-hmmm, wonder why?

  10. This is such a non-issue …………why doesn’t she take advantage of vote by mail?……..I live in a senior complex and just about everyone votes by mail……but it does not provide for a political photo op……..if nirenberg cares about old folks why hasn’t he tried to control his scooters when we seniors are trying to stick to the sidewalks…….if she can’t remember Texas laws maybe she is unable to mentally handle political decisions…… did not help her and her fellow mayors when we were urging us to vote against the charter amendments………he is iust scared because half of the voters did not vote for his socialistic ideas.

    • because Terrell Heights is in the City of San Antonio, DA. Terrell HILLS is a separate city. And why don’t you know this? It’s terrify that bozos like you get to vote.

  11. I don’t get what the big deal is. Bring your ID to vote.
    Can’t check something out from the library without a library card.
    Can’t open a bank account without your ID.

    And this particular instance is not even indicative of the so-called problem everyone is all upset about: non-citizens voting.

    Red herring article.

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