FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2009
Austin, TX — Today the Texas Senate voted 19 to 12 for Senate Bill 362, the Voter ID Bill that will require proof of identification instead of just the voter registration certificate currently required at the polls. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. joined 11 other Senate Democrats in opposing the bill.
"I am deeply disappointed that this issue has distracted us from the myriad of critical issues that face our state," said Sen. Lucio. "Issues such as a failing economy, jobs, unemployment, education, housing, high insurance rates and recovering from two major hurricanes concern my constituents."
The Senator also expressed that "this bill does not address concerns about voter fraud in a meaningful manner. There is no evidence that voter impersonation is a problem in Texas, and if this bill disenfranchises a single voter, it is just not worth it."
This bill may have a disproportionate effect on Sen. Lucio's constituents regarding the issues of costs for the poor in obtaining a photo identification, Hispanic surnames and potential voter confusion.
Voter fraud is rarely committed by single individuals; and in fact, comes in the form of mail-in ballots and other larger scale efforts.
Sen. Lucio added, "It worries me that we may be creating another avenue for fraud whether through confusion among precinct workers, or worse, deliberate efforts to turn away voters as a means to affect turnout. For these reasons and others, I wish we had focused on doing positive things for this state and its citizens."
SB 362 is now headed to the Texas House of Representatives.