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Texas Republicans Pitch New Voter ID Law

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By    |   Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 10:29 PM

Texas Republicans pitched a new voter ID law Tuesday that would overhaul current legislation found to be discriminatory against minority groups, The Texas Tribune reported.

Senate Bill 5, filed by Sen. Joan Huffman and granted "priority" access by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, would establish mobile units to grant election ID certificates. The legislation would require photo identification to vote – driver's license, United States military identification card, U.S. citizenship certificate, handgun carry license, or U.S. passport – absent a reasonable impediment, including lack of transportation, lack of a birth certificate, lost or stolen ID, work schedule, disability or illness, family responsibilities or the ID prescribed has been applied for but not received.

Before Senate Bill 5, voters would only be able to vote if they presented one of seven forms of ID.

The new law also creates felony charges for those committing voter fraud, punishable by two to 10 years in prison, and states an election officer may not question "the reasonableness of an impediment sworn to by a voter."

In July 2016, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Texas' 2011 voter ID law, known to be the strictest in the country, discriminated against minorities. Before Senate Bill 14, voters could present other forms of ID, including a paycheck, a utility bill, mail from a government agency, or a bank statement. Experts during the trial testified 600,000 Texans lacked SB 14 photo identification.

"The state is acknowledging the federal court's conclusion that the (current) law is discriminatory," Chad Dunn, a Houston-based attorney, told the Tribune.  

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Politics
Texas Republicans pitched a new voter ID law Tuesday that would overhaul current legislation found to be discriminatory against minority groups, The Texas Tribune reported.
Texas, voter, ID, legislation
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2017-29-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 10:29 PM
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