Republican Rep. Mark Lowery’s bill to require a photo ID, and eliminate the alternative of a signed statement to vote, passed the House 75-20 today and heads to the Senate.
The change applies to both in-person and absentee ballots. Voters without ID may cast provisional ballots, but they will count only if they can make a trip to the county clerk or election commission by the Monday following the election with a valid ID. It also will create a problem for people who don’t possess a valid ID.
There’s no evidence the signature alternative, provided by constitutional amendment, was abused. The bill will inevitably reduce the number of people voting, which is a national strategy of the Republican Party. Other vote suppression measures are likely this session. Voting rights groups have ideas about improving the election process to encourage voting and make it less cumbersome in some respects, but these ideas are not likely to find favor with the dominant Republicans.