Voter ID

The Texas legislature is likely to address a Voter Identification bill soon, which would require that a voter present an approved form of identification, including a photograph. It was contentious in the last session of the Texas legislature, and it consumed the session and caused Democrats to shut down the process. With a more conservative majority in the House this session, passage, in some form, is likely.

“A controversial voter ID bill is up for consideration by the House Select Committee on Voter Identification and Voter Fraud. The Republican-backed legislation would require Texans to present a photo ID before voting. House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, created this new committee after Gov. Rick Perry designated the issue an emergency at the beginning of the session. That designation would allow the bill to move quickly in the first 60 days of the session through the process to becoming law. The Texas Senate 19-11 approved the bill now before House members after around 40 amendments were offered among six hours of debate.”We’re going to make sure anyone voting in the state of Texas when they show up at the polls they’re going to have to be able to show who they are with a photo ID,” said Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, the bill’s sponsor. –KXAN News (March 1, 2011)

Texas Republicans are pushing legislation requiring that all voters in the state present photo identification to verify both their identity and eligibility prior to voting. Under House Bill 250, voters would need to prove their identity and eligibility using one of four types of identification: a Texas driver license, military identification card, a US passport, or a birth certificate with an original photo. “Strict Voter ID legislation is necessary to reduce voter fraud and to preserve the integrity of our electoral system,” Carter said. “I applaud the Senate on its hard work in passing a strong Voter ID bill, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to pass an equally strong bill this session.” House Bill 250 will allow individuals who do not have adequate photo identification at the time of voting to cast a provisional ballot, which does not become effective until they present proper identification to voting authorities. The bill will also allow for individuals to obtain voter identification cards at no cost. – Texas Insider