Voter ID bill passes congress, at some say too high a cost - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Voter ID bill passes congress, at some say too high a cost

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Nearly 12 hours of debate and years of failed attempts puts Texas one step away from requiring you to have a valid photo I.D. to vote. Advocates argue the bill will cut down on voter fraud, but opponents say that may come at too high a cost. 

The vote wasn't even close, and Thursday's decision in the Texas House made it a signature from being official.

If you want to pick your candidate you'll need a picture. State Representative Leo Berman watched Democrats push more than 60 amendments on what he calls a crucial bill.

"We want everyone to be able to vote in Texas and vote legally and vote unfraudalently," said Berman.

Voter fraud was the key problem Republicans said Senate Bill 14 would solve after sobering statistics. In 2007, state auditors found 23,500 registered voters in Texas, who were also deceased.

But it's the soon to be required pictures business owners like Gus Ramirez say come at too high a price.

"It's something I think is ridiculous at this point when they're costing them two million dollars to start that at the state level not including the local cost here," said Ramirez.

The two million dollars quoted by the state would go towards training election officials and announcing the changes Ramirez calls misguided.

"Federal law states you can't deny the person the right to vote," said Ramirez.

Claims of being unconstitutional has already sent photo ID bills in Georgia and Indiana all the way to the supreme court, who ruled in the bills favor, starting a trend some say needs to stop. 

The bill now heads to a congressional committee to hash out differences between the house and senate versions of the voter ID bill.

If those differences can be worked out, the measure will then go up for another vote, then head to the governor for his signature.

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