TribBlog: The Return of Voter ID

Remember that long, heated voter identification debate last session? State Rep. Debbie Riddle is working on a sequel.

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, with state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland on the Texas House floor.
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, with state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland on the Texas House floor.  Flickr (Debbie Riddle)

Remember that long, heated voter identification debate last session? State Rep. Debbie Riddle is working on a sequel.

The Houston Republican announced today that she will, once again, file "ballot security legislation that would require Texas voters to show a photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID at a polling place" next session.

The issue of voter ID was the hottest of hot button issues last session. Republicans argued that it was necessary to protect the integrity of the ballot box. Democrats viewed it as an unnecessary political move that, at worst, would do little more than prevent a small percentage of eligible voters from Democrat-friendly demographics from being able to cast a ballot. It prompted all-night debates, days of a filibustering tactic known as "chubbing," and left scores of dead legislation in its wake as it, too, ultimately failed.

In a statement, Riddle said it was a recent trip to Iraq that inspired her to refile the legislation. “The Iraqi people risked their lives to cast their vote, they endured extremely stringent identification standards, and not only did they not complain but they were excited to be participating in a democracy,” she said. “It was a reminder to me that the spirit of our own republic is no less alive. I believe the people of Texas value their right to vote, and I believe they will gladly take whatever steps are necessary to protect the integrity of our system.” 

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Riddle has also discussed her intention to file a bill similar to Arizona's controversial new immigration law.

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