Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bad Voter ID Bill

The Republicans are at it again. Pretending to cure a problem that doesn't exist they are removing citizens from voting rolls sure that the great majority of those removed vote Democratic.

The Republican State Attorney General has spent millions trying to find instances of voter fraud that this bill will fix and found none. In fact, the only problems he caught were friends helping elderly and disabled to vote and forgetting to sign the mail in ballots on the proper lines. (That still counted as a success because the elderly and handicapped and the type of people assisting people to vote are also largely Democratic voters.)

The main problems with this bill include:

1) The legislation does not provide any alternatives to photo identification examples of identification that will no longer be acceptable to voter include student id cards, Medicaid/Medicare cards, expired driver’s licenses, expired passports, expired military id cards, birth certificates, official government letters, and employer id cards even if issued by a governmental entity.

2) Texas has a long history of voter discrimination and this law if enacted will be used primarily against minorities.

3) Voters, especially the working poor, will not return to the county elections department to provide the required identification within 6 days and cure his or her provisional ballot.

4) The bill contains no provisions to accommodate or address eligible voters whose last name on their driver’s license does not match their voter registration, such as recently married women.

5) The bill contains no provisions or guidelines to address a driver’s license that does not match the address of the voter registration certificate. This provision impacts students.

6) Offering a free personal identification certificate from DPS will not address the problem. Voters that lack the identification necessary to satisfy SB 14 will likely lack the means to obtain a personal identification card.

7) To implement this legislation, the state must put in substantial money for training and extensive public education. Money that would be better spent to address budget shortfalls in education, higher education, nursing homes, and healthcare costs.

8) The budget should be the first and only priority emergency item for the 82nd Legislature.

9) Implementing redistricting plans and extremely strict photo id laws right before a Presidential election is a recipe for disaster in voter confusion.

The people most impacted by this bill include students, the recently married, the recently moved, those with very low income, the elderly, legal immigrants, the handicapped, and the mainly urban dwellers who don't drive a car. These groups all lean Democratic so the Republicans count this bill as a success, getting any edge possible for elections.

See the bill here.

1 comment:

daniel noe said...

Where I live, I wanted to update my license to my new adress and I was told not to bother. At the polls, I pretty much just had to sign a paper saying I did live in the area. It was easy. Remind me not to move to Texas.
I can't think of any good reason why an expired license would be no good. Even if you might no longer be able to drive, your identity doesn't change. Texas republicans are often a bit over the top with some things I've noticed.