Did you know that the Voter ID Bill that was passed in the 82nd Texas Legislature has one alarming exception? If you wish to declare that your “religious beliefs” do not allow you to create or carry photo identification, then all you have to do is sign a disclaimer stating such, and you can vote WITHOUT photo id even though the rest of legal voters still have to provide their photo ID. I understood that this bill was passed – and so many legislators have congratulated themselves for passing it this way – to curb the rampant voter fraud that has invaded our election system. But now, I cannot help but wonder how many illegal or unregistered voters will adopt their own version of “religious belief” in order to circumvent the system, while the rest of us – who were legal voters in the first place – will again willingly comply with a law that we thought would stop the kind of abuse that has been so prevalent in the past. I’ve attached the link so that you can check this out for yourself – look at the bottom of page 11 and onto the top of page 12 of the bill. This is yet another example of “political correctness” gone amuck, and speaking for myself, I am sick of it! I will fight for anyone’s right to freedom of religion, but they must understand that when it comes to public safety and the protection of the integrity of our electoral system, choices must be made on a personal basis. If you choose to not create or carry photo ID, then you simply should not expect to have the same privileges of those of us who DO comply with the law. Doesn’t this remind you of the recent controversy about women refusing to remove their face coverings in order to receive a picture for their driver’s licenses? Again, I believe they have a right to not be photographed if their religion prohibits it, but they must then face the consequences of their choices – religious based or not – and that is simply that they then do not receive a driver’s license and by their own choice, have relinquished the privilege of driving in Texas. Similarly, those with “religious beliefs” who cannot or will not provide photo ID simply have relinquished their right to vote by facing the consequences of their actions.
With a record voter turnout expected for the 2012 elections, I expect to see “exceptions” like this routinely occur as career politicians in both major parties attempt to hold on to whatever power they can. What I DID NOT expect to see was a Texas Legislature – a supermajority of Republicans (or so they call themselves) – willingly sign and pass a bill that has this much ambiguity and potential for voter fraud and abuse STILL attached to it. Where were all our CONSERVATIVE reps who knew this exception was attached to the bill and voted for it anyway? So when you hear about the “successful” 82nd Legislature and legislators brag that the passage of this bill was one of their greatest achievements, you can stand your ground in conveying what an abysmal lie this bill truly was and tell the real story of the way in which they caved in under “political correctness” to once again defy the will of the legitimate voters of Texas, most notably those few true conservatives in their own party who were genuinely trying to pass a Voter ID bill with some true grit and enforcement authority. They failed us again and then have the unmitigated gall to brag about what a great job they did. Had I been your State Representative, I would not have voted for this sham and instead, would have stood my ground to pass and enforce a true Voter ID bill that requires ALL voters, regardless of their religious beliefs, to provide valid photo ID in order to exercise our right to vote. If you agree with me on this, I ask for your vote on March 6th so that I may carry this kind of true conservatism into the Texas House of Representatives as I represent the voters of District 29.
Click here to view the final SB 14 bill.