On January 20 of this 82nd legislative session Governor Rick Perry designated the Voter Identification bill as a priority when he placed it on the emergency agenda. As many of you will recall, during the 81st session the Democrats stalled Voter ID, effectively killing it. With the Governor’s assistance this time around, SB 14 has passed the Senate and is being debated in the House, where it has strong support. While there will no doubt be a vigorous debate, and barring an unforeseen circumstance, SB 14 appears on the verge of sailing through the House and will soon be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature. The implementation of a Voter ID law is an essential tool for maintaining and improving the integrity of our electoral process.
When Governor Perry declared the passage of Voter ID an emergency item, he stated, "Texans are required to show an ID in many day-to-day circumstances like boarding an airplane, withdrawing money from a bank account and driving a car. There is no reason an ID should not be required to vote in the effort to uphold the integrity of our electoral process.” Texas Republicans, who have been fighting for this legislation for years, couldn’t agree more.
What many Texans may not realize is that voters are held to a higher standard in Mexico than they are in the United States. During the last GOP Convention, Representative Leo Berman displayed a Mexican Voter Identification Card to the Platform Committee and passed it around to the members. To our astonishment, the Mexican Federal Electoral ID requires not only the voter’s name, address, and signature, but also a photograph and fingerprint. Recently the Hispanic Republican Conference of Texas (HRC) announced its unanimous support of SB 14.
Texans deserve honest elections, and this legislation will go a long way to ensure that voter fraud is reduced.