Texas Senate takes up GOP-backed voter ID bill

By JIM VERTUNO Associated Press

AUSTIN (AP) - A key Texas Democrat concedes the Legislature is sure to pass a Republican-backed voter identification bill.

The Texas Senate is starting debate and will take public testimony Tuesday on a bill to require Texas voters to show a valid photo ID before voting. Democrats blocked a similar bill in 2009, but Republicans now hold a commanding majority in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio is the leader of the Senate Democrats. She says there is "no doubt this bill will pass."

Republicans say the bill is needed to fight voter fraud. Democrats say it is a partisan measure to boost GOP margins in elections.