Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Primary Voter ID failures lie with Texas' Republican Congressional delegation; #TXLEGE failures are incidental....

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8

Empower Texans has a piece on this week's Voter ID discussion:
With the clock ticking and an important deadline looming, House lawmakers passed a fix to the state’s voter ID bill with only a few hours to spare.

Responding to a last-minute push by Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas House moved yesterday to give preliminary approval to Senate Bill 5 by State Sen. Joan Huffman (R–Houston) – a measure designed to preserve Texas’ Voter ID law by amending the statute to incorporate a court order. Though the bill sailed through the Texas Senate in early March, it had long been obstructed in the Texas House.

In short, SB 5 would implement much of the court-ordered changes to the state’s law which has been on the books (and in court rooms) since passing in 2011. Huffman’s legislation would allow registered voters who fail to produce a photo ID to cast a ballot after showing common documents that contain their name and address.
The Trib details the most problematic amendment:
But the House accepted an amendment authored by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, that would reduce the penalty to a Class A misdemeanor, which carries no more than a year of jail time.

That was a win for Democrats and civil rights groups that had called the legislation a good start but want ID options beyond what was in the bill — student IDs or tribal IDs, for instance — and raised particular concerns over the Senate bill's stricter penalties.

More than 16,400 Texas voters signed “reasonable impediment” affidavits during the 2016 general election, according to a tally of documents provided by the Texas Secretary of State’s office. And an Associated Press analysis found at least 500 instances in which voters signed the affidavit — and didn’t show photo ID — despite indicating that they owned one, a phenomenon some county clerks attributed to widespread confusion about legal changes just ahead of the election.

That’s why some Republicans argued for strict penalties for false claims. Democrats called it it too harsh for the crime — particularly in cases where a Texan is otherwise casting a legal vote.
We could write a piece ripping on Joe Straus for slow walking this bill, and Phil King for being a dingus and accepting that amendment. Both of those things are certainly true.  But the real failures lie with Congress, and specifically with the Republican caucus of the Texas delegation.

If the Republicans in Texas' congressional delegation were doing their job, Joe Straus would be irrelevant.

There's a simple solution to this problem: Amend the (federal) Voting Rights Act to explicitly state that state level voter ID laws are ok.

Obviously, the only thing missing is political will, and no Texas Republican (Note: including Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz) is stepping up to the plate.

Bottom Line: It's bad enough that they're dropping the ball on national issues, but the failure of Texas' congressional delegation to protect the State from federal lawsuits (which enables additional shenanigans from Straus) is a whole separate outrage.

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