Skip navigation.
The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Republicans Ready New Attack on Voter I.D. Non-Problem

Now is the time to submit all non-problems to the Texas State Legislature. The Republican leadership needs the next few months to figure out what to do about them.

They would really like to focus on non-problems that could potentially give them a political advantage.

A perfect example would be a voter identification bill; there’s no evidence to suggest there’s voter fraud that needs to be addressed with such a bill but there is reason to believe it might deter some Hispanics from voting.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Indiana’s stringent I.D. law, Republicans say they’re inspired to again try to get such a measure passed in the Lone Star State. Meanwhile, those pesky, obstructionist Democratic lawmakers say they will again do everything to keep it from happening.

Given the ideal nature of such legislation, other non-problems are most likely going to be lower down in the pecking order.

That means a proposed bill like the one making it optional to wear neckties during summer months in Texas might not get as much attention. It’s just the kind of non-problem the Republicans are well suited to address since most people already consider neckties optional in the summer.

But it’s obviously lacking in the inconvenience and political advantage departments. Let’s face it, fewer people having to wear neckties in the summer won’t ensure fewer Democrats voting come fall.

The proposed voter identification legislation is clearly superior. Presently, one has to present a voter registration card or some other form of identification in order to cast a ballot. That has worked fine, and there are very few reports of unregistered individuals getting to vote.

Under the Republican proposal, photo identification would be required. Since there’s no problem, there’s nothing to fix; however, two Hispanic state senators, Mario Gallegos (D-Houston) and Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), point out there are a lot of elderly voters in their heavily Hispanic districts who don’t have driver’s licenses because they never drove a car.

And that’s just what the Republicans are counting on. Voters like those would have to get some other form of photo identification. That’s obviously going to be a major inconvenience, and since it’s hard enough just to get people to register to vote in the first place, chances are they might not vote at all.

It will be another bloody fight just like in 2007; Uresti blocked the legislation once even though he was sick as a dog and Gallegos risked his life following liver transplant surgery just to be present to kill the bill. Gallegos said at the time, “Just because the court decision indicates that it’s legal doesn’t mean that it’s right.”

Reading this, some people might be a little concerned what happens with real problems like public school education and health care if Republicans are spending so much time on non-problems.

That argument overlooks the most recent census data which shows the number of Hispanics in the United States rose by 1.4 million in just the last year alone and every study shows that Hispanics now lean Democratic by an overwhelming margin.

So see, if you’re a Republican, this really isn’t a non-problem at all.

(Originally published by Examiner Newspaper Group)

Syndicate content