Proof Voter ID is about Voter Suppression

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Want proof the Republican push on voter identification is partisan in nature?

From the Austin Chronicle:

Smith floated another draft of a possible compromise bill on the floor today. Smith has been leaving Sen. Troy Fraser's SB 362 parked in committee in hopes of finding something that will pull a few swing-district Democrats to vote “aye.”

But that's getting push-back from GOP hardliners on the committee and stopping him short of the five votes he needs.

“I have a really good agreement with [Republican] Rep. [Dennis] Bonnen and Rep. [Dwayne] Bohac, and [Democratic] Rep. [Joe] Heflin,” Smith said. “I'm having trouble getting Rep. [Betty] Brown and Rep. [Linda] Harper-Brown on board.

Linda Harper-Brown won her re-election by a mere 19 votes.  Harper-Brown beat Democrat Bob Romano 19,857 to 19,838 or 48.72% to 48.67%.  Former Texas Republican Party Political Director Royal Masset estimated that a photo ID requirement would reduce Democratic turnout in Texas by 3%.  In House District 105, that would have cost Bob Romano about 595 votes.  

Is Harper-Brown pushing a fundamental political ideology or is she worried about re-election?  


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  1. Crap
    This is such crap!  Do you really believe “Evil Republicans” sit around in their Klu Klux Klan outfits thinking up ways of disenfranchising voters?  It is extremely disingenuous to write entries such as this.  Republicans and Democrats that will vote for this bill are supporting it because one, people of the State of Texas want it, and two, because it is a common sense bill.  Why do people such as you believe it is not a legitimate request for people to show a government-issued ID to vote?  I have read many argue we do not have a problem with voter fraud in the State of Texas. You are arguing that nothing should be done unless we are in a full-blown crisis.  My response is this let us be proactive.  Let us ensure that it never becomes a problem in Texas.  Texas is an ever-growing state with many new people coming in and others leaving.  It makes sense that we would require people to show their ID.  It is a valid argument, but an unpersuasive one, that some people will have difficulty getting a new ID.  We will always have problems, and one group of people always will benefit while others do not under any bill passed by a legislative body.  The question is, “do the benefits outweigh the costs?”  In the end, the assurance that people are who they say they are when voting, outweighs a few having difficulty getting a new ID under this bill.  

    • Forest from the Tree
      First, the point is the one advocating for the strictest form of voter ID is the one who won her election by only 19 votes.  

      Second, I pointed to a Republican who said that a voter ID law would suppress the Democratic vote by as much as 3%.

      Third, I showed that not only is there no known cases of voter fraud at the polls, but that we spent an impressive $1.4 million to find any case of fraud.

      That all being said, I think anytime we spend millions of dollars looking for a problem and can't find one, we have been pro-active.   The reason I get bothered by such broad and sweeping voter suppression legislation, it's because I like voting and I like it when other can vote too.

      As I wrote here, the way SB362 is written I wouldn't be able to vote.  Right there we have identified more people negatively affected by this legislation that problems it solves.

      Using your paradigm of benefits outweighing costs, we have 1 voter suppressed and 0 problems and $1.4 million in research cost vs untold millions spent in court battles. Therefore the costs outweigh the benefits.  

    • Cost-Benefit is Great
      And that's the argument I've been making for months.  On the one hand, you have ambiguous evidence of the possibility of voter fraud, and on the other hand, you have hard evidence from numerous past experiences of voter suppression of 1-3% of legitimate voters.  That formula seems simple enough to me.

      Let's take this a step further.  Let's assume that voter fraud is particularly and especially difficult to detect.  At the very least, we can agree that it is statistically impossible for voter impersonation to comprise as much as 1% of the total vote cast in a given election.  In an election with 1,000,000 votes, that would require 10,000 votes to be cast by impersonators.  Impersonation on that scale would be impossible NOT to detect, aside from the fact at being almost impossible to pull off successfully.  So basically, it's impossible for the number of voter impersonators to exceed those having votes suppressed under virtually any scenario.  (Possible exception for exceptionally small sample sizes.)

  2. In answer to your question
    She's clearly pushing a political ideology, which is no bad thing (isn't this entire blog is designed to push a fundamental political ideology?)  

    She was a coauthor of last session's voter ID bill, so it's not really fair to say that she is only supporting voter ID legislation because she is worried about re-election.  Seems to me that she's always supported voter ID legislation.

    So, she's pushing a political ideology.  You don't agree with her position.  That's all fair enough.  

    However, it's clearly not true that she's only doing this to protect herself in her re-election.

    • Again…
      I am not saying that her push for voter ID is or isn't based on ideology.  What I am saying is, her push to a the strictest form of voter ID is.

      Her own party and moderates on both sides of the aisle disagree with LHB and Betty Brown's most recent push.  Linda Harper-Brown and Betty Brown are also torpedoing what some would argue is a consensus bill.

      Why would she throw away something she pushed so hard for 2 years ago to make it more aggressive and restrictive now?  

      The only logical answer is 19 votes since Bonnen and Bohac agree with the proposed Smith bill, and the two Browns are possibly killing it because it doesn't go far enough and doesn't activate soon enough.

      Yes, I am speculating, but nothing else really makes sense.

    • LHB
      She's not only supporting voter ID for that — but why won't she back down from her position? She's pushing for more aggressive changes and laws now…but why?

      If R's wanted this as a policy they'd compromise. They don't want to compromise, and Todd Smith has said the best thing that could happen would be for this to fail so they could “use” this against Democrats in the future.

      This isn't policy. It's pure politics. Let's not pretend otherwise.

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