Texas Senate to Discuss Bill That Would Require Photo ID at the Polls

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The next time you go to the polls, you may have to show a photo ID before you can cast your ballot.

It's all part of a bill that Governor Perry declared an emergency item on Thursday and he wants it passed in the next 60 days.

Republicans are all for it, saying it'll put a stop on voter fraud, but Democrats say it's just another move that will discourage certain people from being able to vote.

It's a problem happening at polls around the state.

"That's one thing people want a control over," Tisha Crow, with the Ector County Republican Party, said. "Fraud is fraud."

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Perry moved the bill to the top of his list of priorities.

The bill requires you to show a photo ID if you want to vote.

Crow said it's something people have asked for.

"They've taken it up and they said 'ok we promised it would happen this year and we will move forward," Crow said, referring to lawmakers.

But Bobbie Duncan with the Ector County Democratic Party disagrees.

"What people? Who did they listen to? They listen to only people they agree with," Duncan said. "Governor Perry has the votes on his side. If he puts it in, they'll vote for it."

Duncan feels the Republicans have a different agenda.

"I think this was done purposely to disenfranchise minority voters," she said. "We are almost a minority state, and by golly, we ought to let them vote."

She argues a number of minorities and elderly don't have an ID. She thinks the bill is looking to gain strength in Republican votes.

But Crow said the idea behind the bill is to prevent voter fraud, because showing a voter registration card isn't always enough.

"My husband's name is Christin Crow. You could go take his card out of our mailbox," Crow said. "They have no idea, you could be Christin Crow and you could show that and they'd say 'Ok great, go vote here.'"

Crow said the privilege to vote is one our troops fight for and Republicans want to protect that.

"For someone to come in and be Christin Crow or be whomever they aren't, and take the opportunity to vote when they have not earned it, it isn't right," Crow said.

"They're citizens," Duncan said. "When they register to vote, they have to prove they're citizens, and that's all it should take."

According to the Texas Senate website, the last time this issue was discussed, the debate lasted more than 24 hours before it got through the Senate, but House opponents eventually blocked passage of the bill.

The Texas Senate is scheduled to start talking about it again on Monday.