Republicans say the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud and make elections fair. Democrats say it will do the exact opposite, by keeping minorities and the poor away from the ballots and boosting conservative voter margins.- JP
The law would require voters to present a valid state or federal photo ID. A driver's license, personal ID card, military ID, passport or concealed handgun permit is acceptable.
Those expected to require new IDs are mostly people who have religious objections to having their picture taken or have lost their IDs in a natural disaster
Voters without IDs could cast provisional ballots but would have to show identification within six days for their votes to count. The state can issue free IDs to be used specifically for voting if someone doesn't have one of the accepted forms of identification.
"We just wanted to make sure that when someone steps into the voting booth, they are who they say they are," said Republican Sen. Troy Fraser, the Senate sponsor of the legislation.
The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, makes illegal voting a second-degree felony and attempted illegal voting a state jail felony.
Friday, May 27, 2011
GOP lawmakers cheer as governor signs Voter ID bill
Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter identification bill into law Friday, saying, "This is what democracy is all about. "It's our duty to ensure that elections are fair, beyond reproach." Republicans have been pushing the measure for the past several legislative sessions: