Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Voter ID bill out of committee, on to House

Chairman Smith says Voter ID bill fate is dim:

Chairman Todd Smith of the House Committee on Elections said the voter ID measure that cleared his committee Monday probably won't survive if it's voted on as-is by the full House, 76 Republicans and 74 Democrats. I just don't think the votes are there," said Smith, a Euless Republican, who added that he thinks the chance of House members approving the latest version without changes is less than 50 percent.
The bill calls for voters to present a photo ID or two documents indicating their identities. Rep Smith (a Euless Republican) attempted, but failed, to get the bill watered down to draw Democrat support. RPT comment:
S.B. 362, Voter ID, passed out of House Elections Committee this afternoon, with the next stop on the House floor for a full vote--but the work is not yet done. With 70% of Texans favoring a Photo ID to vote, it is still up to Chairman Todd Smith, Speaker Straus, and the rest of the Texas House to ensure that the final Voter ID legislation is what Texas voters want: valid Photo ID to vote, an increase in penalties for fraud without cre ating loopholes such as same-day voter registration, and immediate effect to ensure that our elections are free and fair. Democrat legislators will be looking for procedural "points of order" to prevent them from being held accountable to their constituents--it is up to Smith and Straus to ensure this bill has a full debate and vote on the floor. Please remind Chairman Smith that Texans are counting on him as the House Sponsor to strengthen, not weaken, this important bill on the floor--Republicans won't just support any bill masquerading as Voter ID if it's not real Photo ID to vote.

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