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Round-Up of Voter ID Press Statements Part 2


by: Shelby Alexander

Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:00 PM CDT


Here's another round of statements from our elected officials on the federal court's voter ID decision. Read statements from the following after the jump:

  • Senator Kirk Watson
  • Representative Carol Alvarado
  • Representative Charlie Gonzalez
  • Senator Carlos Uresti
  • Chairman Steve Maxwell, Tarrant County Democratic Party
  • Representative Rafael Anchia
  • Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas Democratic Party
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Senator Kirk Watson

"During the upcoming legislative session, we will continue to fight in defense of civil liberties and the right to vote.  We will also continue to push for greater transparency and openness in government, avoiding bad policy and legislation which results in expensive litigation and the misuse of state resources.

We love Texas.  But Texas can do better.  And Texas deserves better from its elected leadership.  The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus prioritizes the values of middle class Texans  ΜΆ  from voting rights to public education to access to quality health care."

::

Representative Carol Alvarado

"The federal court's decision reaffirms what many of us have contended all along which is that the Voter ID law disenfranchised women, senior citizens, minorities and low-income voters.  Last session the legislature overreached their authority in passing a law in which the sole purpose was to discriminate against certain groups.  The Voter ID law was a solution in search of a problem; however, this misguided attempt would only have suppressed the vote of eligible voters.  Texans can rejoice in knowing that every voter will continue to have the opportunity to exercise this fundamental right."

::

Representative Charlie Gonzalez

"The judges noted that one third of Texas counties lack offices where people could secure an acceptable identification card and, 'a 200 to 250 mile round trip-especially for would-be voters having no driver's license-constitutes a "substantial burden" on the right to vote.' Even those who could make it would find 'none of Texas's DPS offices are open on weekends or past 6:00 PM, eliminating for many working people the option of obtaining an EIC on their own time [and] forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote.' They did not note, but everyone should know, that the Texas legislature took no steps to lessen this burden."

::

Senator Carlos Uresti

"The judges affirmed the very arguments that opponents made back during the session, that a picture ID requirement to gain access to the ballot box is an unfair and improper burden on a vast segment of society. It imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor and racial minorities in Texas. The ruling lays bare the true intent of the Republicans' Voter ID law, which was designed to discourage racial minorities and poor people from participating in the democratic process."

::

Chairman Steve Maxwell, Tarrant County Democratic Party

Two of the top Republican legislative priorities have now been revealed as exactly what they were meant to be by the repressive and backward-thinking Republican leaders of the legislature: nothing more, or less, than the disenfranchisement of Texas citizens.  

Fortunately for Texas, no matter how these laws were  dressed up and distorted, the United States Court system saw through the deception and called it exactly what it was-- discrimination and disenfranchisement at its very worst. If this wording sounds familiar, note that this was the same thing being said about this legislation by the courageous Democrats who tried to defeat these bills in the legislature. Texas voters deserve better representation than what they are getting from the legislators who tried to enact these shameful bills."

::

Representative Rafael Anchia

"I applaud the D.C. District Court and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for defending the rights of Texas voters. The great threat to our Texas democracy is low voter turnout. Texas is dead last in the country in voter participation. Instead of working on that problem, Republicans in the legislature sought to further restrict our precious right to vote. Next session, I stand ready to work on bipartisan electoral reform that doesn't leave thousands of Texas voters behind.  Other states have come up with legislation that both increases confidence in elections and protects our sacred voting rights."

::

Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa

"On the heels of open hostility toward the Hispanic community through attacks on the Dream Act and support for Arizona type immigration laws, two US District Court panels have found that Texas Republican Legislators intentionally discriminated against Hispanics and other minorities in both their legislative redistricting plan and their harsh Voter ID law.

Almost as soon as each of the Court rulings was released, Attorney General Gregg Abbott pledged to continue to waste more Texas taxpayer funds in an effort to have both Court rulings overturned. They're doubling down on discrimination and voter suppression against Hispanics in Texas. It will be interesting to see if the Great Republican Latino Hope, Ted Cruz will support the Federal District Court's ruling and embrace the most fundamental American right - THE RIGHT TO VOTE."



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