Democrats fear looming passage of Texas Voter ID Bill
Tue, 22 Mar 2011 04:02:59 GMT —
There may soon be a proof of identity requirement in place for voters to cast a ballot in Texas.
The Republican backed bill, which would require either a driver's license, state-issued ID card, passport or military ID to vote, is likely to become law as early as Wednesday.
Valley Democratic Party leaders like Gilberto Hinojosa in Cameron County said he fears the worst.
"It's clearly intended to prevent Hispanic voters from going out to vote."
Democrats outnumbered 2-to-1 in the House, have questioned the need for voter ID when there is a larger problem of voter fraud via mail-in ballot.
Hinojosa said there's never been a case of voter impersonation prosecuted in the state.
It's something the bill is aimed at preventing.
Hinojosa believes the bill's design is to choke off poor and minority voters who likely don't have a state issued ID card.
"They don't have driver's licenses," he said. "They have never gone to get a DPS picture ID... so these people who maybe have voted all their lives by showing a voter registration card will not be allowed to vote."
Hinojosa estimated there would be a 10 percent reduction in voter turnout in the Hispanic community.
Despite the negative impact, plans are underway within the Valley's Democratic Party to mobilize an educational campaign to soon right what party leaders called the wrong law in Texas.
Representative Aaron Pena, who is a joint sponsor of the bill, said polls show how 70 percent of people, including Hispanics, want this type of safeguard in place with photo identification.
He called it a sure fire way to uphold the integrity of the election process.
The Texas House will likely revisit the bill on Wednesday after Democrats put a stop to debate Monday over an error with the bill's language.
It's expected to pass with the governor to signoff shortly thereafter.