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Texas Democrats File Bills to Protect Voting Rights

In the name of fighting against an overstated and non-existent problem, Republicans have forced voter suppression laws that even Fox News admits are an attempt to keep Democrats from the polls.

The Texas voter ID law made it harder to vote, but a panel of federal judges also said that the law would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor.” The law remains in place until it finishes working its way through the courts.

Fortunately, some lawmakers are fighting back. A number of Texas Democrats have filed bills that would make it easier to vote.

From same-day and voter registration to letting Texans show their student and/or veteran IDs to vote, here are some of the positive voting rights bills we are tracking this session.

Voter Identification

Several Democrats in the House and Senate filed over twenty bills this session to allow additional forms of photo ID that you could use to vote. Here’s a sample:

  • HB 295/SB 170 - These bills would allow for students to use their school IDs to identify themselves for voting purposes. Introduced by Rep. Canales and Senator Uresti.
  • HB 303 – Also filed by Rep. Canales, this bill would place a picture of the voter on the Voter Registration card, and this card could be used as ID for voting purposes.
  • HB 536 – Filed by Rep. Nevarez, this bill would allow the elderly (people above the age of 65) the ability to vote with an expired ID.
  • HB 733 – Filed by Rep. Israel, this bill allows for student and veteran IDs to be accepted for voting purposes.

Voter Registration

Registering to vote is a burdensome process, but especially if you don’t know any registrars. Texas is currently has some of the worst voter turnout in America. We can change that trend if the laws regarding registering to vote are simplified.

  • HB 444 – Filed by Rep. Johnson, would implement a statewide online voter registration system.
  • HB 3267/SB 1449 – Rep. Herrero and Sen. Ellis each introduced bills that would allow anyone who renews their driver’s license, or other form of ID, to automatically be registered to vote.
  • HB 448 – Filed by Rep. Alonzo, this bill would implement a same day voter registration system in Texas. Same day voter registration has been shown to increase turnout in the states that have put these types of laws in place.
  • HB 258/SB 143 – Another issue Texans have while registering is that if they are denied, they have to go to the County Registrar to figure out why. Sen. Garcia and Rep. Miles have introduced legislation where the registrar’s office would send a letter to the address provided to let the applicant now why their voter registration was denied.