Voter ID Goes Before Texas House

The Texas House is expected to vote Tuesday on a new voter ID law after Governor Greg Abbott made the proposal an "emergency item."

Senate Bill 5 would allow registered voters to cast a ballot without a picture ID if they have documents showing their name and address.

“It is certainly far better that we proceed with SB 5 and what the Senate produced in order to ensure that Texas does not end up under pre-clearance rules where Texas can't enforce it's own voting laws,” says Chip Roy, director of the Center for the Tenth Amendment Action at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Roy hopes the final version satisfies Democrats who claim voter ID discriminates against minorities.

“Those who oppose the bill would be foolhearty to do so when it is a very basic form of voter identification requirement as compared to what we originally passed in 2011, but its still an important requirement,” he says.

If passed, the new law would put the state in line with last year's ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“SB 5 is a necessary step to ensure we don't end up under Department of Justice pre-clearance and we could then look at the future and figure out how to tighten voter ID further, but it is imperative that they move this bill so we don't get under pre-clearance,” says Roy.

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