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Republican legislators to support Republican legislation

That’s the takeaway from this story.

The Hispanic Republican Conference has thrown its weight behind the controversial voter ID legislation slated to hit the House floor next week. In a statement released today, the caucus said the issue is essential to integrity at the ballot box and that its overwhelming support by the public indicates change is necessary.

The legislation would require voters to present a form of approved identification, like a state-issued driver’s license or concealed handgun license, in order to cast a ballot.

“To ensure the integrity of our election process, I am supporting the Voter ID bill along with other bills to ensure that candidates reside in their districts, to strengthen our voter registration system, [and] to protect military voter access to Texas elections,” state Rep. John V. Garza, R-San Antonio, said in a statement. Garza and Reps. Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg; Raul Torres, R-Corpus Christi; Dee Margo, R-El Paso; Jose Aliseda, R-Beeville; and Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, are the conference’s charter members.

What did you expect? They’re Republicans, and this is a top Republican priority. It would be news if any of them had called voter ID legislation the crock of bull that it is. It’s also no coincidence that all of them will stand to benefit from the suppressed turnout among Hispanic voters that this legislation will lead to.

The announcement comes just a week after the original members, minus Gonzales, issued a fiery statement calling on Washington to overhaul the country’s immigration policies, alleging the current system promotes discrimination and produces “a class of vulnerable persons.”

Members also said last week they would not support state legislation some Republican members have proposed that would strip children of undocumented immigrants of certain entitlements.

Good for them, but this is a meaningless gesture. They still support the “sanctuary cities” bill and they have had nothing to say about the hateful legislation that the likes of Debbie Riddle and Leo Berman have been putting forth. But again, as long as they think of people like Berman as being “earnest and sincere” instead of dangerous and deranged, what do you expect? What I expect is that they’ll be about as effective as Bill Hammond and the Texas Association of Business have been at moderating or stopping anti-immigrant bills they don’t like, which is to say not effective at all.

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2 Comments

  1. Ross says:

    What’s wrong with requiring the person presenting Joe Blow’s voter registration to prove they are, in fact, Joe Blow? I would also eliminate voting by mail, as the potential for abuse there is huge.

  2. Ross – I’ve blogged this subject to death, so I’ll be brief. One, not everybody has the kind of ID that would be required. See, for example, the story of Royal Masset’s mother:

    http://blogs.chron.com/texaspolitics/archives/2007/04/a_republican_hi.html
    http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=425

    If the state were going to provide everyone who needs it a valid ID, for free, that would enable them to vote, I’d have far fewer problems with this. Given that they are not, I ask why your voter registration card isn’t sufficient to prove who you are.

    Two, you are correct about absentee ballots. There are plenty of known cases of such fraud. It’s also the case that absentee ballots skew Republican, often heavily. Browse recent Harris County results for examples. Yet all of the Republican voter ID legislation that has been proposed in recent years ignores this completely. It’s not hard to see the partisan motives at play.