From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
October 16, 2008

Contact: Logan Spence (512) 463-0107

Recent voter registration activities illustrate the need to better protect our most cherished right

AUSTIN - Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) is announcing his intent to file legislation that will clean up the voter registration process in Texas.

Senator Patrick intends to file a bill this upcoming legislative session that will impose significant fines and penalties on deputy voter registrars that file more than one duplicate voter registration application. The bill will also require the termination of their appointment.

Recent reports from Harris County Voter Registrar Paul Bettencourt state that the organization known as ACORN submitted 35,000 applications, about half of which were rejected. 3,800 of those applications were rejected as duplicates.

"Today, the integrity of our elections is under attack by organizations with an agenda," stated Senator Patrick. "If the legislature fails to adopt even these simple protections, our most cherished right will be auctioned to the highest bidder."

"Current law does not address the situation that we face today, where people are getting paid to submit voter registration applications that are incomplete or duplicative," said Senator Patrick. "My legislation will give voter registrars the ability to terminate the appointment of a deputy voter registrar who negligently submits duplicative voter registration applications."

"This situation illustrates the critical need for a voter identification law in Texas," said Patrick. Senator Patrick was a strong proponent of the voter identification bill that died in the Senate in 2007. He will continue to support that effort as another important step toward protecting the integrity of the ballot box.