Monday, March 21, 2011

Voter ID Bill Gets A Smackdown

You have to love it when Democrats, even though faced with a 2 to 1 majority in the Texas state house, can still delay the seemingly inevitable passage of the of Voter ID bill, simply by requiring that it be consistent.

Perfectly consistent.

Here is what happened. The Voter ID bill, also known as the Poll Tax Bill of 2011 had been moved to the House floor for a vote. State Rep. Armando Martinez, a Democrat of course, raised a point of order which Speaker Straus subsequently sustained.

The point of order? As written the Voter ID bill’s text did not agree with the bill analysis. By one word. But it’s a big word, at least 3 syllables depending on how you pronounce it. The word?


That Republicans make it a point that they are the guardians and saviors of business in Texas makes the irony deeper.

In the bill, it states that a voter my cast a provisional ballot without presenting a photo ID, and that it will be counted if he returns within six days with a valid photo ID. The bill’s analysis, however, says the voter must return within six business days.

It does make a difference.

So the bill was taken off the floor and should not see the light of day for at least a week.

All of this is much ado about nothing, you know. Texas, as a former combatant in the War of Northern Aggression – on the wrong side - and then as a state whose official policies discriminated against African-Americans and their voting rights for decades after Reconstruction, will end up having its soon-to-be law taken off the books by the federal Justice Department. Texas is on the list of offenders on the Voting Rights Act. Different rules apply for Texas and all states which had and enforced Jim Crow Laws.

Lots of good things can be worked on right about now in the state legislature, but instead the Republicans are pushing all of these red meat issues – especially Voter ID because they allege voter fraud at the polls. They could be doing lots of things but they do this instead – a law that will inevitably be tossed on the trash heap of irrelevance.

Your State Legislature, inaction.

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