The Texas Legislature is rushing to pass a voter ID bill that would require voters to show a driver’s liscense or other form of picture ID at the voting booth. No longer will a voter’s registration card, which can only be acquired by showing proof of residency, be considered adequate proof that a person is eligible to vote.
Governor Rick Perry declared this as emergency legislation so the bill could be considered before the House was fully organized, and it has strong support among Republicans. Not so much with Democrats.
Supporters say the bill preserves the right to vote, which is one of our most precious rights as residents of a democracy. They claim the current system allows non-registered voters access to polls, many of them illegal immigrants. Opponents claim the bill is just a way to disengage those at the economic bottom tier in our country.
And of course, those opposed and those in favor are so busy taking pot-shots at each other, I wonder if they are taking time to really debate the pros and cons of the bill, or is this all just about promoting the party line? Which is really what I suspect this whole issue is about — politics. Republicans want to come across as the vanguards of our freedom, and the Democrats want to be seen as the saviors of the poor.
If only they really cared about their constituents, they would put politics aside and look at issues of graver importance — like the state budget. Now, there’s something that needs to be deemed an emergency.
This type of approach to government business in rampant, from federal to local, and it doesn’t look like it is going to change. Too bad for us.