The rumor was that the voter ID bill HB218 was going to come up in the Senate yesterday, but according to the TLO all that happened was a cosponsor was authorized. I sure hope Sen. Gallegos is either in Austin or prepared to get back there on a moment's notice, because who knows when this will actually come up.
Did you catch the KPRC story about some bogus voter registration applications that came into the Harris County Tax Assessor's office? Quite the propitious timing, that. Racy Mind has a screenshot and a bit more to the story:
It appears a number of voter registration applications have trickled into the Harris County Tax Office since February, according to the Office spokesman I talked to. Over 50 applications were mailed from El Paso, listing a non-existent Houston address.
The Tax Office spokesman said the news crew was there for something else entirely, but they saw the voter fraud memo on a desk and the reporter said "hey, there's a story!" So they did one.
Never mind that no fraudulent votes could have taken place - there would be nowhere to deliver the voter reg cards since the address doesn't exist.
UPDATE: The Statesman answers my questions about Sen. Gallegos and HB218.
Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr. of Houston, who's been away from the Capitol most of the legislative session after a liver transplant, showed up in the Senate on Thursday to join a bloc of Democrats opposing the voter ID bill.
Under Senate rules, two-thirds of the chamber, or 21 senators, must agree to bring a bill up for debate. With Gallegos present, the 11 Democrats have enough power to block it.
"We're 11 strong in unity," Gallegos said Thursday. He said he planned to be there every day for the rest of the session to help stop the bill. The five-month session ends May 28.
Gallegos said he feels up to being at the Senate for the rest of the month.
"Is it easy? No. No, I'm not going to lie to you," he said. "I feel OK. I'm not a hundred percent, so I've got to take my medicine."
Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the Senate's presiding officer, had warned that he might call the voter bill up for debate as soon as Thursday and gave Gallegos a 24-hour warning, as he'd requested. The proposal never came up Thursday.
Dewhurst said he'll take his first opportunity to pass the bill.
UPDATE: A commenter points out that the registration form shown in the KPRC story is a federal form, which is valid for any state. It's still a very clumsy attempt at fraud, if that's what it really was, and quite convenient from a timing perspective.Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 04, 2007 to That's our Lege