Of all the problems facing Texas, I find it odd that one of the first orders of business for the Senate in the 81st Legislature was to pass Senate Resolution 14. SR-14 calls for a picture ID voting card. There were fourteen public interest groups that opposed a change to the voter identification requirements. “Requiring a photo ID at the polls would affect the elderly, disabled, and poor, creating unnecessary barriers to voting and violating a basic fundamental right,” said Luis Figueroa, legislative staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. AND I’m almost sure the Catholic Church protested when a dozen nuns were refused the right to vote because they lacked a photo voter ID card. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/07/nation/na-voterid7
Senator Tommy Williams, a Republican from the Woodlands and 22nd in the hierarchy of the TX Senate, said this issue took precedence over such things as high tuition costs, and redistricting issues. SR-14 was even more important than trying to better our standing as being the last wrung on the ladder of states with health coverage for our citizens. Another oddity was the call to do away with the normal 2/3rd vote required to pass an issue. The Republican dominated Senate opted for a majority vote instead. And why not? There were plenty of back room talks before the vote. Someone surely ratted out Senator John Carona’s intention of voting against his party lines and against SR-14. This, of course, made Senator Williams’ all important SR-14 a little iffy as to it’s outcome-so OUT with the 2/3rd vote and in the majority vote. Using this kind of thinking, what can we expect from future votes?
This photo voting ID card will be particularly hard for me since I am disabled. I have voted by mail for years because I am housebound and only go out to see the doctor which is an all day event! I must question how many photo identification cards we must have, too. Lets see …. we need a photo ID for a driver’s license, a passport, to be in the military, in law enforcement, to be allowed into some schools and some companies. A picture ID is needed on Certificate of U. S. Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization and The Transportation Worker ID Credential (to identify those who have been cleared to enter sensitive security areas such as airports, shipping terminals and ships). You must also have a photo ID card for The Merchant Mariner’s Document (issued by the U.S. Coast Guard), Native American Indian tribal document, and some Credit Cards. When a photo ID voting card is the LEAST of the problems Texas has on her plate, I hope the Texas House will refuse to play these kinds of games! Submitted by Pat Aldridge Jones