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Texas Voter ID Legislation


Voter Fraud is Real and Legislation was Needed
By George H. Rodriguez - May 31, 2011

Ricardo Pimentel wrote in his opinion piece in the San Antonio Express on May 24 that he feels that the state voter ID legislation is “a bogus solution for a pretend crisis”. Apparently he has never studied Texas history and heard about the “Duke of Duval County”, or about ballot box 13 and how Lyndon Johnson won his 1948 U.S. Senate race by 87 contested votes. 

Pimentel does not feel that the potential for fraud is not high enough to merit this legislation. Perhaps he can tell us how much fraud is enough to merit anti-voter fraud legislation?

He also argues that the poor and minorities are going to be hurt by this legislation. However, the fact is that political bosses have always preyed on the poor, less educated and minorities to manipulate their votes. Instead of attacking this legislation, he and other liberal Hispanics should see it as a way to protect the voting rights of the poor and minorities. It is a way for them to participate in fair and legitimate elections. Why should anyone fear showing proof of eligibility to vote?

In 2009, a group of citizens in Houston, the King Street Patriots, volunteered to work at some polls.  They were shocked to observe election officials participate in voting irregularities. The officials often failed to check voters’ identification, or disregarded polling documentation requirements,  and routinely accompanied voters to the voting booth and told them who they should or should not vote for, even going so far as to fully prepare the ballot, and make all selections.

Again in 2010, this same group trained and placed, with the help of both political parties and candidates, over 1,000 poll watchers and judges in Harris County for the November election. Every poll watcher was trained to take extensive notes and summarize their experience on a form we called an Incident Report (IR). These IRs where then processed and shared with the chairmen of both political parties and all proper elected officials. What they demonstrated was that the examples from 2009 were not an exception but rather the norm in over 200 polling places. Yes…voter fraud does exist.

Free and fair elections are an American birthright. We should protect it at every stage of our electoral process and protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation.

America was built upon the belief that election results represent the true will of the people. You can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. However, we need to be sure the water is pure. You can hold elections, but you can’t make people vote. However, if they vote, the process and election should be fair and proper.

There is nothing wrong with showing proper ID when you vote, just like when you show it to cash a check, buy liquor, or any number of other actions. It does not deter the poor or minorities then, and it won’t deter them from voting. It won’t deter anyone from voting unless they are ineligible.   

George Rodriguez is President of the San Antonio Tea Party and a Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.


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