Following 6 hours of debate on Wednesday night and consideration of 41 Amendments, the Texas Senate passed SB 14, the Voter ID legislation in Wednesday night 19-11.
Highlights of the amendments include:
• Cancel implementation of voter ID, if there were any reductions in school funding this legislative session. Tabled
• Require DPS offices to be located within 5 miles of public transportation-Tabled
• Permit same day registration at the polls on election day- Tabled
• Created exemption procedures for disabled voters Passed
• Increased funding for voter registration-Tabled
• Permits a concealed handgun license to be used as an acceptable form of ID- Passed 30-0
Bill sponsor Senator Troy Fraser (R) of Horseshoe Bay argued that the state must do all it can to ensure the integrity of elections. “It is imperative that we protect the public’s confidence in elections by deterring and detecting voter fraud,” he saidContinue reading...
In what was a foregone conclusion, the Texas Senate passed its version of voter ID out of the chamber’s committee of the whole late Tuesday following more than 10 hours of debate for and against the bill, which would require voters to produce a photo ID at the polls.
All twenty Republicans, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, voted for the bill. All 12 Democrats voted against it.
Proponents of the bill tout the measure as a means to protect integrity at the ballot box, and argue that in states where similar laws exist, voter turnout actually improves. Opponents of the bill argue the it would disenfranchise minorities, the elderly and even some students, who may not have access to current government-issued identification.
Testimony included comments from conservative groups like the Harris County-based King Street Patriots, who favored the measure, and opposition from the Texas ACLU, whose executive director, Terri Burke, told senators the bill was a solution in need of a problem.Continue reading...
Lt Governor Dewhurst notified members that the Senate will be considering Voter ID legislation next week.
When the Senate will reconvene Monday, January 24th, at 1:30 p.m. , it is expected that Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) will preside over the consideration of SB 14
Under the legislation, a voter would be required to show either a current Texas driver’s license or id card, a current US military id card, a current US passport, or a US citizenship certificate that contains a photo before casting a ballot. The bill also would increase the penalties for committing voter fraud.
Senator Fraser ( R-Horseshoe Bend) says that,
“Voter ID is simply putting into practice the intent of the current law – that the person who shows up at the polls is who he or she claims to be,” said Fraser. “Voter impersonation is a serious crime, but without a photo ID requirement we can never have confidence in our system of voting.”
Co-Authors of the bill include Senators: Fraser | Birdwell | Carona | Deuell | Duncan | Eltife | Estes | Harris | Hegar | Huffman | Jackson | Nelson | Nichols | Ogden | Patrick | Seliger | Shapiro | Wentworth | Williams
You can watch the Senate at work here.Continue reading...