FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2016
Rep. Anchia Reacts to Modification of Voter ID Law
DALLAS – Today, Texas State Representative Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) applauded the decision by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi to modify the discriminatory voter ID law, SB 14, which was passed by the Texas legislature in 2011 and opposed by Rep. Anchia and a majority of Democrats in the legislature. Judge Ramos’ decision was in response to a ruling in August by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which determined that the law is racially discriminatory. In 2014 Judge Ramos cited Rep. Anchia’s testimony in her ruling in which she said that the law had “an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose” and constituted “an unconstitutional poll tax.”
SB 14 required Texas voters to show one of a very limited number of government-issued photo ID’s to vote, such as a state driver’s license, a passport, or a concealed carry license. Today’s agreement states that a Texas voter who lacks a photo ID can sign a declaration stating they have a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining a photo ID and, after showing an alternative form of ID such as a utility bill, bank statement or paycheck, will be allowed to vote a regular ballot.
“The restrictive nature of SB 14 has always defied common sense,” said Rep. Anchia. “The law was supposedly intended to prevent an “epidemic” of in-person voter fraud, but the truth of the matter is that there is a higher probability of being struck by lightning in Texas than of finding in-person voter fraud.”
Since 2011, the state of Texas has twice submitted data from the Department of Public Safety office indicating that between 600,000 and nearly 800,000 Hispanic registered voters do not have a state-issued ID card.
“Considering that Texas is consistently in the bottom five of states when it comes to voter participation, our focus should be on increasing voter participation, not finding ways to decrease it,” added Rep. Anchia. “And in the recent primaries in 2016, Texas was second to last in voter turnout. We can and should do better.”