Democrats Stop Voter Suppression Bill…For Now

Today, House Democrats succeeded in stalling SB 14, the legislation that would require voters to present a photo ID at polling places in order to vote. Representative Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco) raised a point of order based on a disparity in the language of the bill and the bill analysis. The point of order was sustained, pushing the bill back at least a couple of days.

While Republicans argue that this legislation will prevent voter fraud, they have failed to provide any evidence of fraud in recent elections, and voting fraudulently is already a felony. The truth is that this legislation is designed to deter thousands of indigent, disabled and elderly voters, who might not have a form of photo identification, from voting. Given that voter fraud is not a problem and access to acceptable photo IDs under this bill are not free, this legislation creates an unnecessary burden for many legitimate voters.

After the point of order was sustained, the bill was quickly referred back to committee, where it was cleaned up and voted out by a margin of 6-2, with Representatives Scott Hochberg and Marc Veasey voting no.

The bill is now in the House Calendars Committee, where it could be voted out and returned to the House floor later this week.