Thu March 24, 2011
Voter ID Clears the Texas House
After years of Republican attempts and procedural blocks by Democrats, a voter ID bill has passed the Texas House and Senate. The bill passed the House on 3rd reading today on a 101-48 vote. Today's debate and vote took just minutes, compared to the 11 hours the House spent debating amendments Wednesday. The bill now goes back to the Senate. That chamber can either agree with the House changes to the bill or ask for a conference committee to work out the differences.
Last night's debate was at times emotional, with minority Democrats saying the bill will disenfranchise minority and elderly voters. Republicans countered those points throughout the evening and in the final minutes of the debate had four of their newly-elected Hispanic Republicans speak on the bill.
That angered some minority Democrats, including Houston's Garnet Coleman who came to the back mic and challenged the idea that having a few minority Republicans say the bill won't hurt minority voters glosses over the many more minority Democrats who say it will.
You can hear the exchange between Coleman and the bill's author, Patricia Harless (R-Spring), below: