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Friday, September 29, 2023


GOP, Dems block issues with voter bill

A voter ID bill sped through the Texas senate and House this January. It has virtually 100 percent Republican support and little fear of the legal system to hinder it.

The bill embodies the requirement of photo identification before voting, requiring a state or federal ID, driver’s license, concealed-carry license, passport or Military ID. The two polarized sides fight for and against it, but what is the punch line? Voter identification fraud is a farce.

“It’s symbolically very important to each side because each has a bunch of partisans that think the other side is out to get us,” political science professor Richard Murray said. “It won’t in my view have much practical effect.”

In a nutshell, Republicans are citing proof that the bill will protect voters by stopping illegal immigrants and felons from voting and Democrats present evidence that the photo ID bill is a disguised poll tax meant to dissuade voters.

Yet proof and evidence is near non-existent. Go online, search libraries, or dig in archives; large scale voter fraud in Texas is a myth. You will also not find data showing voter ID as a method to stop minority voters. So why do Republicans push and Democrats fight with such ferocity on the bill?

“The perception is important because it’s widely believed,” Murray said. “There isn’t a lot of empirical evidence that supports either.”

Obviously there are more pressing matters right now than protecting voters. There is the economy, the deficit and budgets to take a stance on, but voter protection is a strong lever to gain political points.

Depressingly, this is how politicians keep up appearances. As a result, Republican voters now think illegal immigrants are trying to vote. Democratic voters now believe that Texas senators are scheming to repeal the 15th amendment, and conspiracy theorists believe that both sides are simply distracting everyone from the state budget crisis.

A word to politicians, this is where pleasing the constituents gets you. This does not make a complete waste of time permissible.

Texas politicians should just ignore the hyped up constituents or just listen in moderation. It might cause less popular support, but strong politicians should endure and support a more valid cause.

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