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

NPT Capitol: Voter ID looming in House – but where are the votes?

This morning, sixty Democrat House members including El Paso reps Moody, Pickett and Chavez gatecrashed the Speaker committee room, which had been reserved by pro Voter ID Republican Betty Brown, for their own impromptu press conference. [link]

The Dems gave a vociferous defense of their position on Voter ID, essentially promising a bloodbath if the Senate’s Voter ID bill made it out of Calendars committee. The bill is rumored to hit the floor by Friday or Saturday.

The question is though, if the Republican manage to churn out the bill, do they have the votes?

The House is split 76-74 to the Republicans, meaning a straight vote on party lines would mean it passed. But Speaker Joe Straus has said he does not plan to vote on the bill (Speakers usually do not vote on bills.) With state Rep Ed Kuempel, who cosigned a pro voter ID letter earlier this month, recovering from health problems, that takes the tally to 74-74, meaning the bill would die on a tie vote. (And that’s assuming all the Republicans vote for it – Delwin Jones and Tommy Merritt voted against similar legislation in 2007)

Where could the needed votes be then? The “WD40″s – (White Democrats over 40s with sizable conservative populations in their constituencies.) Might the Republicans (of whom at least 71 of the 76 are publicly for Voted ID) be able to peel enough WD40s to make it pass?

Consider these: 1) Joe Heflin, a panhandle WD40, voted to send the bill out of the election committee, paving the way for it to pass to the floor. 2) While 60-odd Democrat gatecrashers in the Speaker’s committee room is impressive, 70-odd would have been a lot more impressive…

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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