House OKs bill requiring voters to show ID

Melissa Ayala

AUSTIN — A bill to require Texans to show photo identification before voting passed the Texas House on Wednesday night despite repeated efforts by Democrats to derail it.

The legislation, clearing the House 101-48 after more than 11 hours of debate, has sparked anger and partisan bickering ever since Republican Gov. Rick Perry put it on the fast track at the beginning of the legislative session in January.

Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, said the bill would undermine the civil rights that minorities gained after years of voter suppression.

“People are willing to turn back the clock … just so they can win close elections,” Veasey said. “If you don’t have these forms of identification, your vote is going to be thrown in the garbage.”

Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Houston, said he didn’t understand why it had become a partisan issue.

“I have Democrats, Republicans and independents in my district who think people ought to show ID before being allowed to vote,” he said.

The legislation, as currently drafted, would require voters to present a valid form of state or federally issued photo identification. A driver’s license, personal ID card, military ID, passport or concealed handgun permit would be accepted.