A bill moving through the legislative process in Texas this year with widespread support from both sides of the aisle is the Voter ID bill. On Monday, May 11 it was voted out of the House Elections Committee on a 5-4 vote. Four of the five Republicans and one of the four Democrats voted in favor of the bill. The no vote from the one Republican was due to the fact he wanted a stronger bill.
After looking at several versions of the Voter ID bill, the Elections Committee decided to vote out the Senate Voter ID bill, unchanged, which is taken as a positive development by supporters.
The bill would go into effect in time for the 2010 elections with no delay in implementation.
The bill requires a person to show a Photo ID in order to vote.
Some supporters are asking that the alternate ID option is removed, or at least a shortened list of acceptable alternate ID, should a voter come to a polling place without a photo ID.
Now the bill will go to the House floor for a vote. This will likely happen next week. A fight is predicted as Democrat leadership opposes the bill. It will not, however, be very surprising if several earnest elected officials decide to vote in favor of the legislation. Polling shows Democrats as well as Republican voters spanning across racial and ethnic lines support Voter Photo ID.
Perhaps for a welcome change of pace, legislators will listen to the people who put them there. A photo id required for every aspect of our modern lives. Opening a bank account? Cashing a check? Using a credit card? Everyone asks for a photo ID.
And, for the ridiculous argument that "the poor" will be disadvantaged? A non-starter. If somehow someone lives a life without a photo ID - usually a driver license or ID issued at the DPS - then the state will have a program to issue an ID to anyone unable to get one on his/her own.