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Voter ID again on Monday

As you know, only one of the two pernicious voter ID bills that were brought to the floor of the House made it through. The other got sent back to committee on a point of order. That bill, HB626, is expected to be back on the floor this coming Monday. The True Courage Action Network has a call to action:

If they pass HB 626:

* You’ll be required to produce a certified copy of your birth certificate or passport or naturalization papers to register to vote.
* You’ll be required to produce your birth certificate or one of those other hard-to-find and expensive documents to re-register (20% of Texans move between election cycles).
* Voter registration drives will be a thing of the past because we don’t carry around our birth certificate (if we even have one) when we shop.
* The voter turnout rate in Texas, already the lowest in the nation at 26%, will drop even lower.

We expect a floor vote on Monday. This time, in addition to calling your own rep (contact info here), we’re asking you to call the following House members who are believed to be undecided, and ask them to stand up with courage and vote NO on HB 626:

Kirk England (512) 463-0694
Mike Krusee (512) 463-0670
Pat Haggerty (512) 463-0728
Mike Hamilton (512) 463-0412
Harvey Hilderbran (512) 463-0536
Delwin Jones (512) 463-0542
Tommy Merritt (512) 463-0750
Todd Smith (512) 463-0522

A lot of American citizens in this state don’t have birth certificates – basically, anyone born at home, which is a common thing in rural areas, may not have one. They’ll be pretty much out of luck if they need to register or re-register. You’ll need a certified copy of your birth certificate if you ever move to another county, which will require a re-registration. And you’d better hope it doesn’t get lost in the mail, if you like your identity as it is.

This bill is (I presume, anyway) covered by Sen. Ellis’ letter of intent to block on the Senate floor. And I see that Dems in the Senate are on their guard about any back-door maneuvers.

On Tuesday the Senate considered Senate Bill 1464, a proposal by Sen. Kyle Janek, R-Houston, that says if someone is excused from jury duty because of a lack of citizenship or because they do not live in the right county, they cannot vote in that county.

Before a vote on Janek’s bill, Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, had a few questions for Sen. John Carona, who was presiding over the Senate in place of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Actually, the questions were really for Senate Parliamentarian Karina Casari Davis, who was advising Carona just as she does whoever is the presiding officer.

Watson asked whether the voter ID bill would be a proper amendment to attach to Janek’s bill. Carona, based on the parliamentarian’s counsel, said no, that such an amendment would be subject to a point of order. Watson asked if the House attached the voter ID language to Janek’s bill, would it be subject to a point of order and have to return to the House. Carona said yes. Essentially, Watson’s questioning established that the voter ID language is not germane to Janek’s bill.

Don’t be surprised to see similar questions about other Senate legislation related to voting.

Bring it on, I say. Frankly, a point of order to kill the whole calendar wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world right about now.

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  1. Charles Hixon says:

    It might be easier for me to get naturalization papers than to acquire a certified birth certificate.

  2. el_longhorn says:

    Got to figure out those more esoteric points of order…