On March 10, 2009 a hearing will be held at the Texas State Capital to vote on the future of a proposed Voter Photo Identification bill, SB 362. The purpose of this bill would be to require more exhaustive procedures in identifying voters. If this bill passes into law, simply providing a voter registration card will not be enough, you would also have to show an official photo ID. Critics of this bill say that this will greatly affect voters who are disabled, elderly, and those who are minority citizens. Everyone is being urged to get involved in trying to prevent this bill from passing! You can either attend the hearing in person and sign up to testify, or write to your Representative in the Senate.
Would this bill prevent me from voting? No, I do have an official photo ID and would be able to present it at the poles. But there are many disabled Americans who do not. I am disturbed by the idea that this bill could prevent so many from exercising their right to vote, yet there is another issue at play here. The world is going through some real challenges right now with the economy, healthcare, education concerns, a war, etc. Why do Texas politicians feel that voter fraud is of such importance right now? After all, under the current procedures, there have been no real prosecuted cases of voter misrepresentation. There are so many other issues facing the government, many of which affect American’s with disabilities, yet we are caught in the middle of a political rivalry. A lot of effort has been made to get this bill where it is without many opportunities to oppose it. If nothing else, publically denouncing this bill lets the politicians know we are watching and paying close attention to what they are doing!