Voter ID Hits the Wall
Earlier this week, the House Republican Caucus started collecting signatures on a letter affirming 4 basic principals that state GOP lawmakers would like to see in any Voter ID Bill. Those tenets, including one to have a new law, are deal breakers for Democrats for the 2010 elections.
Crosbyton Democrat Joe Heflin says, “We’ve lost all the good hours and hours and hours on meetings that we’ve had with people. Committee hearings are basically may be gone because we’ve got this agenda out there.”
Heflin has been working with the House Elections committee to draft a Voter ID bill that Democrats would vote for. And until now, they thought they had something that could pass with bi-partisan support. Now House Republicans are putting pressure on Elections Committee Chair – Euless Republican Todd Smith to strip any Democratic concessions. Smith says that goes against the very nature of his negotiations.
“If we want to pass a bill then we have to put things in the bill that will attract the marginal votes that are necessary to pass the bill. It’s pretty simple,” he says.
Now, the House bill on Voter ID is in an interesting position. The Republican version of the bill has the votes to get out of committee but probably not enough to pass on the House floor. The compromise has enough votes to pass the House but can’t get out of committee. And Smith isn’t really interested in bringing the Republican version to the floor.
He says, “I don