Fifteen months after Gov. Rick Perry said he would make sure the 2011 Legislature acted on a voter ID proposal, a measure approved by lawmakers awaits his signature.
In January, we rated his promise In the Works after Perry placed the issue on the fast track by declaring it an emergency. Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Austin American-Statesman that voter ID was "unfinished business from last session." In 2009, some House Democrats killed the legislation by slowing action on other proposals.
Since January, versions of the latest proposal requiring Texas voters to show an acceptable government-issued ID at the polls have twice cleared the House and Senate.
The Senate got the debate going early, approving Republican Sen. Troy Fraser's bill along party lines Jan. 26. Democrats argued that the legislation would make it more difficult for some minorities and disabled Texans to vote. Republicans said the change was necessary to combat voter fraud.
The House followed on March 23, two days after the Democrats used a procedural maneuver to delay the vote. Members approved the legislation after more than 11 hours of debate.
Minor differences in the two chamber's bills were resolved by a House-Senate conference committee, and during the negotiations, lawmakers agreed to allow Texans with no valid ID to vote with a new form, called an election identification certificate, that will be issued by the Department of Public Safety and can be used only for voting. In May, the two bodies signed off on the legislation's final version.
Given that the House and Senate have finished action on voter ID, Perry's promise is Kept.