Monday, February 28, 2011

Voter ID Bill Passed by the Senate

The Senate has passed the Texas Voter ID Bill. This is the first major Republican legislative victory of 2011. “The measure was approved 19-11, with all Republicans backing it and all but one absent Democrat voting no,” (Houston and Texas News). Perry had already given this bill fast- track status. A last minute change that both sides agreed on for the bill was allowing a concealed weapons permit to be valid for voter identification. The new voter ID bill will cost the state about $2 million to pay for the necessary announcements. Democrats had argued that this cost is unnecessary when Texas is already working on the state’s debt.
         The voter ID bill will negatively affect minorities, the elderly, and the disabled, according to the Democrats. This bill could directly affect an elderly person who may have an expired drivers license. Elderly fall into the category of the ‘Silent Generation’ that contained many leaders in the civil rights movement who are full of opinions. The elderly citizen may have no need for a driver’s license because they no longer drive a vehicle. Now as they approach the voter poles, the elderly citizen will no longer be able to give their opinion and vote on issues such as Medicare that may directly affect them.
         The bill will now move to the state House.
Photo: Jay Janner/The Associated Press
Sen. Troy Fraser (center) and Sen. Tommy Williams (right) talk to Sen. Robert Duncan during debate on Senate Bill 14, the voter ID bill, in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Austin on Tuesday.

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