The Citizenship Test (HB 626) Passes The House - UPDATED

Posted in 80th Legislature, Around The State, Elections at 9:17 pm by wcnews

HB 626 passed the house. Gardner Selby has to vote total,

87 - 59.

Eight Democrats voted for the proposal. At least one Republican, Rep. Delwin Jones of Lubbock, voted no.

QR is also reporting on it and has more of the details of what was done to it.

Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) held off on consideration of HB 626 yesterday after hearing objections from some Democratic lawmakers that the legislation raised barriers to voting.

His latest version of the bill would require voters to either provide their place of birth if U.S.-born or the date and location of naturalization if they were born elsewhere. That represented a significant change from earlier versions of the legislation that required citizens to present a certified copy of a current passport or a birth certificate.

The sides met today but were unable to come up with a workable deal on how best to confirm a would-be voter’s citizenship. King had offered his latest iteration of the bill as the best way to ensure that only citizens were voting while not placing an undue hardship on voters. He argued that the legislation would be easy to implement as the Secretary of State already has the task of verifying voter information. HB 626 would have the added benefit of putting the burden on the state to verify citizenship instead of the individual, he argued.

Not knowing all the specifics of the amendments this from that it just seems that they’re asking the SOS to verify people that register to vote are actually citizens of the US. If that’s what actually happened than that isn’t so bad. But I don’t know if we need a law to make the SOS do that. First impression, stay tuned.

[UPDATE]: In statement on HB 626, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez calls it a “heartbreaking day in this state”. Text of statement below the fold.

[UPDATE II]: My early impressions aren’t holding up. The bill keeps looking worse and worse. Burka has more.

View original.

AUSTIN-State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) joined leaders from the AARP, the League of Women Voters, and other advocacy groups Tuesday in opposition to an assault on Texans’ voting rights. Representative Rodriguez voted against House Bill 626, which would substantially decrease voter participation in Texas by requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

“Let’s be clear about this: there is no voter impersonation problem or voter fraud epidemic in this state,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “This is part of a partisan disenfranchisement effort to keep seniors, minorities, and the poor from voting. I voted against House Bill 626 to protect the voting rights of every Texan.”

Passed in the House mostly along a party-line vote, HB 626 would suppress voter registration by requiring every person who registers to provide “proof of citizenship” by requiring voters to provide their place of birth if U.S.-born or the date and location of naturalization if they were born elsewhere.

“Instead of encouraging voter participation, HB 626 makes registering more difficult for eligible people, especially students, minorities and the elderly.”

A study commissioned by the Federal Election Assistance Commission, conducted by researchers from Rutgers and Ohio State Universities also found that, in 2004, states with Voter ID laws have experienced a drop in turnout (3%), especially among African American (5.7%) and Hispanic (10%) voters.

Rodriguez noted “it is a heartbreaking day in this state when our elected officials have approved legislation that will discourage thousands of citizens from the ability to exercise their constitutional right and purge their right from voicing their opinions.”

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.