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HB 626

Nelda Spears confirms her support for Republican Voter Suppression Bill

by: bikindem

Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 00:42 PM CST

Voter Suppression-GlenVNeldaYesterday, Nelda Wells Spears put out a statement confirming her support for the Republican Voter ID bill HB 626 in the last session.

As reported by the Austin Chronicle and Austin American Statesman, Ms. Spears is using the language of and siding with Tom Craddick and Texas Republicans in their attempt to disenfranchise thousands of minority, poor, and senior Texas voters.

As a reminder, Texas Senate Democrats heroically fought HB 626 including State Senator Mario Gallegos who was wheeled in on a hospital bed against doctor's orders to cast the deciding vote blocking the bill.

It is outrageous that a Democratic elected official would side with Republicans on this attack on our voting rights.

Glen Maxey has taken a stand not only oppose voter suppression bills, but as Travis County's chief of voter registration will lead a statewide effort to protect the rights of every voter.

We cannot allow the Republicans to go unchallenged another session as they chip away at our right to vote. I will stand up and be a voice for the rights of Texans. As a 6 term legislator, I have a record of taking on the bad guys, standing up on civil and voting rights issues and for open and transparent government.

Glen Maxey is running as a Democrat for Travis County Tax Assessor Collector in the March 4 Primary.

UPDATE: Nelda Spears gets some support for her position... from a Republican blogger.

I love this final quote from Ms. Spears:

"It is pretty much against the party line," Spears said. "Even though I consider myself a good Democrat, I also consider myself a person who can think for myself."

Hmmm. Sounds more like a Republican to me.

Discuss :: (20 Comments)

Study Shows Voter ID Laws Supress Legal Voting

by: Matt Glazer

Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 10:37 AM CST

In 2007 two major bills hit the floor of the House and Senate.  House Bills 626 and 218 would have instituted a modern day poll tax and restricted the rights for Texas citizens to have a say in who represents them.

Leadership from the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) in the House and Mario Gallegos in the Senate defeated these Republican bills.  And not surprisingly, a new study shows that legislation like this has had a dramatic impact on voting.

"It is incredibly clear how voter I.D. requirements disproportionately affect and suppress minorities," said Logan, professor of sociology. "This data shows that if voter I.D. policies had not been in place in 2004, voter turnout would have increased by more than 1.6 million...

The full study can be read here.

There's not much more that needs to be said.  The Republican continue to want as few people in the process as possible.  They use fear tactics to sell it to the most racist of Texans and Americans, and put bad public policy ahead of positive solutions. As long as the House is lead by Tom Craddick and his cronies, racism, hate, and fear will dominate the public discourse.  

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

UPDATE: Voter Supression

by: Matt Glazer

Tue May 01, 2007 at 00:07 PM CDT

(the debate starts again, for the third time. - promoted by Matt Glazer)

Vince, Kuff and EOW do a brilliant wrap up of yesterdays voter suppression shenanigans.

We are keeping a watchful eye on it.

UPDATE: HB 626 has been postponed until the end of the day... again... for the second time...

UPDATE: It seems the fix isn't a fix.  The Secretary of State doesn't have any way to track citizenship. Why does King want the SOS to use a system that doesn't exist? How is it possible to call it a compromise when the proposal you submit isn't even possible?

According to Rep. Rafeal Anchia (D- Dallas), this will cause 1,000's of registered, legal voters that will be removed from the voter roll. In addition, the Secretary of State is saying they may not even be able to implement this program.

UPDATE: HB 626 Passed.

Discuss :: (19 Comments)

HB 626 is the "uglier, smellier, brain-damaged cousin" of HB 218

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 00:46 PM CDT

We're all hoping the Texas Senate will kill HB 218, the flawed "Voter ID" bill that solves a problem that doesn't exist in Texas. But don't let your guard down- HB 218's sick and twisted relation sponsored by Rep. Phil King is hitting the House floor on Monday. Instead of dampening the ability of already registered voters to actually vote, this bill takes aim at the beginning of the process, setting up a barrier that would effectively shut down all voter registration in Texas.

Austin Chonicle: This bill requires proof of citizenship for voter registration, and get this: It will mandate presentation of a birth certificate (not a photocopy, but the actual thing), or U.S. citizenship papers, or an unexpired passport. You know all those ways we've tried to boost voter registration, things like registration drives on college campuses and in poor neighborhoods, or while you're at the drivers license office, etc.? They'll be gone. Bye-bye.

The Statesman's John Kelso beat us to the best description of what will happen: "This would kill the common practice of voter registration drives in supermarket parking lots. When was the last time you took your passport to an H-E-B to pick up a roll of paper towels?"

Welcome to Texas, where only the well-educated and affluent are allowed to vote. Hmmm … sounds mighty familiar. Perhaps Travis County should only set up voting booths in West Austin in the next election.

I've helped to personally register hundreds if not thousands of students in my three and a half years at UT. With those requirements I can guarentee you that literally 99% of those would never have taken place. Then again, I guess that's the intent of King's bill now isn't it...because Texas strives to be last in everything.

Percentage of Eligible Voters that are Registered - 41st
Percentage of Eligible Voters that Vote - 44th

...as of 2002, sourced.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Todd Smith: "I Did it Because I'm Republican"

by: Todd Hill

Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 00:43 PM CDT

This morning I attended a Town Hall meeting hosted by my State Representative Todd Smith, R-Bedford. 

Let me plug the fact that Town Hall meetings, should your representatives have them, are excellent opportunities to directly question your elected officials on votes, authored legislation, or legislation that concerns you that they voted for.  Get in their face!  As BOR has been documenting all week, my personal concern and sole mission for today's Town Hall was to question Representative Smith about his vote in favor of House Bill 218.  Otherwise know as the Voter Suppression Act of 2007.

I asked:

"Representative Smith you voted this week in favor of House Bill 218, which passed with a 76-68 vote.  The bill is inappropriately named the Voter Identification Bill; it should be entitled the Voter Suppression Bill.  If it becomes law this bill will disenfranchise elder seniors, minorities, and young people from exercising their constitutional right to vote, and you supported that.  Why?"

Representative Todd Smith said directly:

"I did it because I'm Republican."

With a puzzled look, my fellow Democratic constituents and I essentially dropped our jaws to the floor.  And he not only said it once, twice, but three times!  The final time he basically insinuated that the Republican Party endorses voter suppression by stating:
"Listen, I'm a Republican, this was a Party line vote, and I uhhhh……voted appropriately as a result."
He went on to ho-hum about the intent of the bill was to keep individuals ineligible to vote away from the polls, which, by his own admission with his bizarre quote, is nothing more then BS. 
There's More... :: (13 Comments, 399 words in story)

House to Debate New Ways to Suppress Voters

by: Matt Glazer

Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 09:48 AM CDT

"Voting is the most fundamental right in a democracy, and we should all be working to encourage more participation in fair elections free from fraud and intimidation instead of using tax dollars to promote a partisan agenda."  Chairman Boyd Richie

The "Voter ID" agenda is part of a state-by-state effort orchestrated by Karl Rove with the clear intention of suppressing the vote among certain groups of voters - seniors, college students, lower income voters and minorities - who typically vote Democratic.

Today is a clear example of how the Republican Party and the Democratic Party differ wildly in their ideology.  The Republican's want to restrict voters.  By offering House Bills 218 and 626, they want to make it harder for seniors, college students, low income Texans, and minorities to vote.

As Latino For Texas points out:

On a recent True Courage Action Network, a non-partisan non-profit conference call, it was revealed that the minimum cost, even for voters who have been voting for 20 years but maybe move, or get married and change names, will be roughly $20 for the certified copy of a both certificate. And, possibly as much as $90 if you are a naturalized citizen.

Here are the facts.  HB 218 will require ALL voters to present a photo ID OR two forms of government approved non-photo ID. 

HB 218 is one step closer to voter suppression and HB 626 is a giant leap towards a poll tax.

HB 626 would literally end voter registration drives and registration by mail as we know them today by requiring every person who registers to provide a certified copy (not a photocopy) of a birth certificate ($23), citizenship papers ($200) or a passport, mailed in a business reply envelope if not presented in person. By requiring a "certified" copy instead of a photocopy, the days of voter registration tables, door-to-door voter registration and registration by mail would be over.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 352 words in story)

Don't Suppress the Vote in Texas

by: sonia

Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:04 PM CDT

( - promoted by Matt Glazer)

Texas is one of several states subject to the Voter Rights Act Section 5 pre-clearance whereby election practices or procedures are frozen until the new proposed procedures have been subjected to review by the US Department of Justice.  You wouldn't be too surprised by our state neighbors in the VRA Section 5 pool. You also wouldn't be too surprised that under the Bush administration DOJ pre-clearance has been relatively easy.

LA Times 3/25/2007
Justice Department tugged to the right
Under Bush, the department has been tainted by politics, many say.

The Civil Rights Division veterans focused their criticism on major voting case decisions over the last six years that they say have generally benefited the GOP.
The most recent case concerned a 2005 Georgia law that required voters to provide photo identification. Staff attorneys raised concerns about the law after the Georgia secretary of state supplied data showing that tens of thousands of voters might not have driver's licenses or other prescribed forms of identification. They said the plan could effectively disenfranchise large numbers of black voters.

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 906 words in story)

Act Today to Save Voter Registration!

by: mariochampion

Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 11:07 PM CDT

(“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing.” -- Walter H. Judd - promoted by Matt Glazer)

(with an extra big hat-tip to the 'cleanest' folks in politics: teri sperry and john courage at TCAN)

Quick, do you have your proof of citizenship on you? Do you even know what counts as proof? Would you be carrying it on you when you head to a music festival, a parade, or immunization day?

Well, certain House Republicans know this, and in an effort to combat unsubstantiated and fabricated `voter ID fraud,' the House Committee on Elections is moving on Wednesday to approve a bill which make it harder for people to become involved, or stay involved. These bills will do three things

  * Require proof of citizenship PLUS an additional ID just to register, at the time of registration.
  * Require even long-term voters to re-register after moving, WITH proof of citizenship - even if they have been dutiful voters for years and years.
  * Require two forms of ID at the poll.


There's More... :: (18 Comments, 82 words in story)

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