Texas State Representative Wayne Christian on what the Texas Senate has done with Voter ID so far, and what the Texas House ought to do with Voter ID.
Here are a couple of facts about the Voter ID bill as introduced in the Texas Senate.
- Voter ID is being called the toughest Voter ID law in the country by both sides.
- As filed in the Senate, the measure will require Texans to show a valid photo ID — such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, a military ID or a passport — to vote, starting in 2012. The measure is more stringent than a 2009 bill that would have allowed either a photo ID or two forms of non-photo identification. Current law requires no such proof of identity.
- It is also tougher than photo ID laws on the books in eight other states, including Georgia and Indiana. Similar laws in those two states that have withstood legal challenges have been used as a model for the Texas bill.
- An initial vote on Voter ID passed along party lines in the Texas Senate, 20 Republicans for and 12 Democrats against
- Final approval of Voter ID is expected by the end of this week.
- 26 amendment have all ready been filled for the bill in the Texas Senate
- Some of the amendments will address issues the critics said would unfairly affect minorities, people with disabilities and the elderly.
- Republicans believe that the bill will pass muster with the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act and will pass any constitutional challenge.
- Governor Perry has declared Voter ID as an emergency item fast tacked for approval in the Texas House and Senate.
- Next Step is for the bill to obtain final passage in the Senate and be kicked over to the Texas House where it will be assigned to the House Committee on Elections.
- Rep. Christian Stated that “Voter ID strikes at the very heart of our free and democratic society. The integrity of Texas’ elections is too important to again be held hostage by last minute political maneuvering such as what happened in the last legislative session. I commend the Texas Senate for taking immediate action on Voter ID and I hope my colleagues in the House will do the same.”