Texas voter ID bill goes to court - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Texas voter ID bill goes to court

AMARILLO, TX - The Texas Voter ID Bill requiring citizens to present a valid photo ID at the polls is being debated in Washington this week.

The trial which began Monday morning will determine the fate of the law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011.

The U.S. Justice Department argues the law is unconstitutional.

"I don't understand the big disagreement about it," state representative John Smithee said. "We show an ID everyday. I show mine to cash a check, use a credit card and get on an airplane. I don't understand why you wouldn't show an ID to go vote." 

The state says the bill will help deter election fraud. The Justice Department isn't disputing that. Instead, the department says the bill is a violation of the Voting Rights Act because it would leave approximately 1.4 million registered voters in the darks, many of whom are immigrants and may not have a valid photo ID. 

"I don't see why that would be a problem," immigration counselor Al Muniz said. "If you are able to vote, you are a citizen. If you are a citizen, you have an ID and that way you don't have any problems." 

He says most immigrants have some form of photo ID, whether it be a drivers license or passport.

He too doesn't understand what all the controversy is about.

"You have to be a citizen in this country to vote," he said. "Just don't worry about anything else. Get whatever they need you to get and go vote."

The photo ID requirement is currently a standard for every resident living in Texas.

Muniz says showing an ID shouldn't be a problem.

"If you get discouraged because you don't show an ID, you will not make your voice valid later on and you will be the group complaining because they don't have what they want," he said. "Just go vote and make your presence in this country."

According to the Texas Attorney General's office in Austin, not a single case of voter ID fraud has been prosecuted here thus far.

The ruling on the Texas Voter Bill is expected to be made later this week.

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