in Houston, Texas
Voter ID heads for Texas state House after passage in Senate
Thursday, Jan 27, 2011, 09:03AM CST
By Steve Miller
vote here

Republicans in the state Senate sent a voter ID bill to the House Wednesday after agreeing to add a concealed weapon license to the list of acceptable identifications needed to cast a ballot.

 

The bill was passed along party lines, 19-11, with Democrat Carlos Uresti absent.


The senators also approved an amendment that would kill the bill if the Legislature fails to appropriate money to cover the cost of implementation, estimated to be around $2 million. Republicans say that cost would be covered by federal funds from the Help America Vote Act.


Democrats complained that voter ID would not deter voter fraud, insisting that the mail-in ballot system has accounted for most cases of voter fraud in the state


From an Austin Chronicle story:

(State Sen. Royce) ”West noted that many experts agree the greatest potential fraud is in absentee ballots, not in-person voter impersonation. 'We’ve done nothing on that,' West said. 'I hope we’ll take off our blue and red jerseys after tonight and take care of the business of Texas.'"

And from a Houston Chronicle story, Jim Wells County elections administrator Pearlie Valadez said:

"Most voter fraud would be in the mail-in ballots, and the elderly are targeted because they are vulnerable. A photo ID would not have any effect on fraud in early voting.”

If the bill becomes law – and that appears inevitable as it heads for the Republican-dominated House  – it will likely face legal challenges. Texas' bill was patterned after Indiana's voter ID bill, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008.

 

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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