El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

NPT Capitol: Dunnam to House Ds, before Senate passed Voter ID bill: “Our turn will come soon enough”

Update, Wednesday (March 11, 2009): As expected, the bill passed the Senate, driven by comments such as this from Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay: “Voter fraud not only is alive and well in the United States, it’s also alive in Texas. I believe the danger of voter fraud has threatened the entire electoral process.” (He did not provide any proof to back it up; in fact, few if any reported cases of fraud have been part of the discussion. Rather, it’s the potential for fraud, driven by such comments as Fraser’s, that has been the main argument. Quote from the Dallas Morning News)

Previously on the NPT Blog …

The debate on the Voter ID bill, the issue of the day at the Capitol, is under way. You can watch live streaming here.

The Houston Chronicle story setting up the issue can be found here.

El Paso state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh is opposed to it. His take on the issue can be found here.

And House Democratic leader Jim Dunnam of Waco isn’t sitting still as the Senate goes at it. Follow the jump to see the memo he sent House Democratic members.

From: Jim Dunnam
Date: Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 7:58 PM
Subject: Monday Memo

Monday Memo
Vol. 81, No. 6, March 9, 2009

Jim Dunnam
House Democratic Leader

Voter ID
Tomorrow, the Senate will meet as a Committee of the Whole to discuss SB 362, or as it’s more commonly known, Voter ID. This is the third consecutive session that Voter ID legislation has made its way into our public debate. Based on the false argument that non-citizens are attempting to influence our elections, the Republican party continues to push this legislation for purely electoral reasons.

This is solely a political ploy to suppress a certain subset of voters. Over the last three election cycles, Republicans in the Legislature have taken a beating. Knowing that they cannot win in the electoral marketplace, Republicans are looking for every avenue they can find to staunch the bleeding. Even if it means potentially disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of legal, eligible voters.

Voting is a right. Studies have shown numerous times that when we make it harder for everyday citizens to vote, fewer people vote.

Voter ID legislation proposes an extra hurdle for many Texans that is reminiscent of the poll tax, and negotiating an “acceptable” Voter ID bill is like negotiating the price of a poll tax.

Tomorrow, our colleagues in the Senate will begin their defense of this sacred right. If, as expected, the Senate votes SB 362 out shortly, our turn will come soon enough.

Sito Negron

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. Did you know that the Honorable Dunnam misspelled “disfranchise”? Check the dictionary – there is no “disenfranchise”.

    Anyway – when Dunnam writes a bill that does away with the requirement to show photo ID to buy alcohol, cigarettes, cash a check, use a credit card, get on a plane, obtain state benefits such as CHIPS or food stamps then I will have sympathy for his argument.

    Until them – I feel “disfranchised”.


    March 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

  2. Not sure which dictionary you use …

    wrong, mary

    March 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

  3. There is a saying…
    when I die,bury me in Texas so I can keep voting Democrat…..


    March 11, 2009 at 10:37 am

  4. Maybe this is why they call it the “Y” generation you cannot do anythin within the law today that is not questioned. “Y” VOTERR ID “Y”


    March 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

  5. Before the critics ‘DEMOS” notice I left the ‘g’ off of anything and doubled the ‘R’ on voter. Just Republician frustration.


    March 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

  6. It is important to note that the law does not require a photo ID to purchase age restricted products; it merely asks retailers to not sell to underage customers. The retailers require the ID.
    Law is intended as a remedy. If there has been widespread instances of this type of voter fraud, that proof should be introduced by supporters of the bill, which would then justify this government intrusion. If there has not been widespread attempts to vote as someone else, then this remedy is not needed.

    Usvaldo de Leon

    March 11, 2009 at 11:10 am

  7. You already have to produce identification to register to vote in the first place. So this proposed new requirement affects the second stage of the voting process. People don’t just walk in the door and decide to vote without previously registering. Measures which make it harder to cast a vote are known to fall disproportionately on Democratic voters. If Republicans were honestly concerning about fraud, they would fund a voter registration card that came with a photo.

    Charles Martin

    March 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

  8. Ugly politics

    Ken G

    March 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm

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