In what was a foregone conclusion, the Texas Senate passed its version of voter ID out of the chamber's committee of the whole late Tuesday following more than 10 hours of debate for and against the bill, which would require voters to produce a photo ID at the polls.
All 20 Republicans, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, voted for the bill. All 12 Democrats voted against it.
Proponents of the bill tout the measure as a means to protect integrity at the ballot box, and argue that in states where similar laws exist, voter turnout actually improves. Opponents of the bill argue the it would disenfranchise minorities, the elderly and even some students, who may not have access to current government-issued identification.
Testimony included comments from conservative groups like the Harris County-based King Street Patriots, who favored the measure, and opposition from the Texas ACLU, whose executive director, Terri Burke, told senators the bill was a solution in need of a problem.
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