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
Vol. 81, No. 6, March 9, 2009
House Democratic Leader
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