May 01, 2007
HB626 stalls, HB218 advances

Apparently, HB626, in its original or "compromise" form, didn't make it to the House floor yesterday. In this comment to his post that announced the "compromise", Burka says the Secretary of State is "balking at the burdens the compromise would place on them". Just a guess here, but I'd say that means they're saying "we'd need a buttload more money to be able to implement this". Which, if true, would mean the budget would have to be jiggled to take that money from somewhere else, since the budget rules adopted by the Republicans say just exactly that. At this point, I have no idea what will happen with this bill. When I hear something, I'll post an update.

Speaking of the Secretary of State, maybe asking them to check everyone's citizenship isn't such a good idea even if they get the funding they'd need.

The state acknowledged today that computer backlogs in a new state database has caused problems for some people who showed up on the first day of early voting and discovered their names were not on the roster.

Among those whose names did not appear today were the city of Prairie View's mayor and mayor pro-tem.

Scott Haywood, a spokesman for the Texas secretary of state, said the agency has received complaints from about 17 jurisdictions that did not get a complete report of registered voters for the May 12 elections.

Haywood attributed the problems to technical setbacks in the Texas Election Administration Management System, a new state database that makes it easier to track people moving around Texas. He said the agency has made improvements to the system and all counties should receive a completed list today.

I hope nobody in my audience was affected by this.

Meanwhile, the voter ID bill HB218 passed out of committee in the Senate, with some differences from the House version.

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, tweaked the House-approved proposal by not exempting any voters from the identification requirement. His version also stipulates that the ID mandate not affect voters until January, four months later than the House-adopted take.

So they decided it's better to disenfranchise Royal Masset's mother than allow for a potential equality-under-the-law claim in the future lawsuit against this sucker. Glad we cleared that up. Next up, Rodney Ellis and the Senate Eleven (we hope!) versus David Dewhurst. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Vince has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 01, 2007 to That's our Lege