Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
March 18, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senate Passes Voter ID

Austin — The Texas Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 362 Joint-Authored by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) to require voters to present proof of their identity when casting ballots during Early Voting or on Election Day.

"Voter ID is an important step toward preventing voter fraud," said Estes. "Voter fraud is a very real threat to the legitimacy of our electoral system, and in a close election could very well compromise the results of what voters would rightly expect to be a fair and honest election."

Senate Bill 362 would require all voters to present a photo identification such as a drivers license or military identification card. If a voter does not have an acceptable photo identification card, then presenting two forms of alternate identification such as a current utility bill or other documents provided by a governmental entity with the voter's name and current address, including the voter registration card would be accepted.

Texas law already provides for requiring photo identification if a registered voter does not provide their voter registration card, but is listed on the list of registered voters. Senate Bill 362 maintains current law, while adding that voters presenting only the voter registration card, must also present one other form of non-photo identification to verify their identity.

"Several states already require voters to present voter identification, and we have seen from their experiences that voter ID increases public confidence in the legitimacy of our elections, and does not negatively impact voter turnout," added Estes.

Senate Bill 362 also provides that voters without a valid photo identification may obtain without charge a state issued personal identification card for the purpose of presenting proof of identification.

After passing the Texas Senate, Senate Bill 362 now heads to the Texas House for further consideration.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.

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