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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Voter ID Compromise In The House

Emily Ramshaw blogs at the Dallas Morning News' Trail Blazers blog that there is a voter ID compromise floating around the Texas House today. The compromise bill is sponsored by Rep. Todd Smith (R-Euless), the chair of the House Elections Committee. From Ramshaw's post:

Smith's current legislation is similar to the voter ID bill that passed the Senate - a bill that would allow voters to produce two non-photo IDs in lieu of a photo ID. One key difference: Smith's bill allows for a four-year phase in of the new rules, while the bill the GOP-dominated Senate passed requires them by the 2010 elections.

Representative Smith's bill is at odds with the the House Republican Caucus' statement from last week which stated that any voter ID bill in the House would have to involve photo identification. While 51 of his fellow House Republicans signed onto that statement, Representative Smith did not.

The best ways to improve elections are to insure that the county elections offices have the resources they need to adequately fund elections operations and to provide better recruitment, training and compensation for election workers. Besides being an onerous solution to a problem that doesn't exist beyond talk radio and conservative blogs, requiring photo ID to vote is simply another tactic to disenfranchise legitimate voters by making it more difficult for them to exercise their constitutional right.

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