Texas Voter ID Bill Moves Toward Passage In Senate

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Legislation requiring Texans to show a photo ID before voting cleared a major hurdle Tuesday night and appears headed for Senate passage this week.

The bill passed 20-12 along partisan lines in a committee made up of all the senators and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

The full Senate could take up the measure beginning Wednesday night, with a floor vote likely to come by Thursday. Republicans say the measure is needed to prevent fraud. Democrats say it’s more about keeping voters — their voters — away from the polls.

Dewhurst, the Republican leader of the chamber, applauded the “camaraderie” during a debate that otherwise revealed sharp partisan divisions. He said he expected changes to the legislation that Democrats are hoping to soften. More than two dozen amendments are pending, officials said.

Passage is all but a foregone conclusion in a chamber where Republicans hold a 19-12 majority. Democrats have said as much.

“This is like a dance where we have another song, another round,” said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, leader of the Senate Democrats. “There is no doubt this bill will pass.”

Senators had spent hours debating the bill Tuesday with expert and public testimony dragging on into the night. Republicans are making stronger voter ID laws a top priority, with Gov. Rick Perry making it one of a handful of bills given fast-track status. They say the changes will prevent fraud, but Democrats say there is little evidence of it and call the bill a partisan effort to boost GOP margins at the ballot box.

“It’s important we prevent fraud and restore the public’s confidence in the election system,” said Sen. Troy Fraser, the Horseshoe Bay Republican who is sponsoring the bill.

The bill is tougher than a 2009 version that was blocked by Democrats. It requires voters to present a valid former of state or federally issued photo identification. A driver’s license, personal ID card, military ID or passport would be accepted.

Unlike the measure two years ago, the new bill does not allow someone to present two other forms of non-photo ID to prove who they are. The bill would not change the process for mail-in and absentee ballots. Voters who could not produce ID would be allowed to cast a provisional ballot and then have six days to return with a proper ID. Voters 70 and older would be exempt from the bill.

Texas would become the ninth state to require photo identification for voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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  • Sam M. Johnson Jr.

    As a veteran and 6th generation Texas I find this appalling. As a mixed race person I also perceive it as racist, my father is White and my mother Cherokee/Hispanic. I’m an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and my Hispanic ancestors fought with Juan Seguin, some at the Alamo and 2 at San Jacinto. Showing this type of identification would be absolutely no problem for me but having to is insulting as all heck. Our Senators, Doyle Willis was an uncle, should all be ashamed tonight. COWARDS !!!

    • Kenyan In Chief

      As Soon As our “so called” President can submit an actual Long Form Birth Certificate, Then Texas will repeal its Voter ID Law. Thank You~

  • bobbiegmoney

    So when you buy beer and they ask you for ID it is obvious that the clerk is a racist. When you write a check and they request ID to identify that you are the owner of the check, they must be racist. Your an idiot.

  • me

    It’s not just about illegal aliens voting. Do you realize how many dead people voted in the last election? Something’s very wrong with that and it needs to be addressed. If it becomes a law we will ALL have to show ID – no matter what color your skin is. No racial profiling going on – just trying to make the elections fair. What’s wrong with that?



  • syd barrett

    That is a lame proof Sam Johnson! How is it racist to ask someone to provide a valid ID to vote. Is a valid ID handed out on a racist basis? I did not know that was the case. I must have been in the wrong line at DPS to get my license. I just remember standing in a long line with peoples of all races with the common bond of having to deal with a government bureaucracy. I have to submit an ID to buy a $20.00 shirt with my credit card. So voting is not as important as buying a run-of-the-mill shirt on credit? What does your ancestry have to do with voting? Being a veteran gives you more expertise on citizens rights or enables you to more rights than any non-veteran or non-mixed heritage American? How are your comments a valid proof. Your “proof” is a logical fallacy (informal fallacy of red herring.) Why don’t you form a valid proof with a premise and a conclusion. I personally think people should pass a simple logic test (better yet, an abstract algebra test) before they can vote. Read a friggin’ logic book before you start spoutin’ off.

  • Warren Latham, Jr.

    What is wrong with showing a photo ID !
    People see you in real life everyday. If you don’t want anyone to know
    who you are, there’s one BIG PROBLEM: you’re wanted !
    If you’re “legal eagle”; NO PROBLEM !

  • syd barrett's student

    Prof. syd barret. Why are you not teaching logic at Harvard?

  • M. Stanford

    I am a Democrat and I think it is a good law. Really, I think it is stupid that this hasn’t always been the law. I don’t understand why this even requires debate.

  • North Texas Gal

    This is not a form of racial profiling? In a state that has one of the HIGHEST illiteracy rates in the country and a very large ESL population alot of people won’t know how to get a “photo ID” and it will scare off alot of would be voters.
    Voting is one of the last individual “freedoms” we have left in this country. Asking for a photo ID is a limiting factor used to reduce the number of voters like the poll tax and proof of land ownership in years gone by.

    • William Wallace

      Texas has counties that have more votes than they have population. !!!! LBJ won an election because dead people voted in Duval county voted.

      Why is this racial profiling ????

    • OldVet72

      Nothing racial about it. If these “would be voters” are so illiterate that they can’t get a photo ID, how are they smart enough to use the voting machines? If they are citizens, they have the right to vote. That right has been paid for by the citizens of this country at a very high cost over the past 250 years and it’s too precious a right to allow to be hijacked by those who would use it for their own agenda who haven’t the legal right to vote in this country anyway. They want to effect change? Pay the price required in their own homeland.

  • William Wallace

    If the liberals say that presenting a photo ID would favor the GOP, are they not saying that there is voter fraud by liberals ? !!!!

  • Gary

    To all of my friends south of the Red River, congradulations on passing a very good law. You’re not allowed to get on an airplane without showing a photo I.D. You can’t cash a check without a photo I.D., etc… Why shouldn’t you be required to present one to vote? A very good law.

  • Carlos123

    Why create a new ID? Wouldn’t adding a Stripe or use a different color to note citizenship on existing IDs (e.g Driver’s License) would be cheaper?

  • RussP

    This article says a driver’s license, passport, military or state ID will all be accepted so there is no cost to the voter or the state for new IDs. How is asking EVERYONE to present an ID racist or targeting a specific group?

  • Kim Dar

    When I first started voting, we had to show our driver’s licenses. Personally I like the idea of having to show a valid ID in order to vote and it has nothing to do with racism. It has to do with those who are not doing the right thing and there are legions of them. Like it has been said before, a lot of dead people voted in the last election and I wonder how many of they signed up to vote with ACORN standing over their shoulders. This will stop this kind of voter fraud and that is what it is pure and simple. Everyone nowadays is looking for a way to get around the system and personally I am tired of those folks.

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