Election Reform Advocates Call on Texas Legislators to Abandon Controversial, Restrictive Voter Identification Proposals

June 14, 2010

AUSTIN, TX – The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and a coalition of voting rights groups including Advocacy Inc, the ACLU of Texas, APIAVote, Asian American Action Fund, Asian American Justice Center, the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, Common Cause Texas, League of Women Voters of Texas, OCA Greater Houston Chapter, People For the American Way, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, Texans Together Education Fund, Texas AFL-CIO, Texas LULAC (HOPE), Texas NAACP, and the William C. Velasquez Institute called on the Texas Legislature to abandon the controversial voter identification policy proposal that resulted in a partisan stalemate during the 2009 Texas Legislative session.

“As the Texas House Committee on Elections conducts its third consecutive interim charge examining additional identification requirements to vote without any substantial evidence of voter impersonation fraud, the time has come for the Texas Legislature to move on and focus on more important issues,” stated Luis Figueroa, Legislative Staff Attorney for MALDEF.

“There is no good that can come out of another fight over voter identification proposals that have a disproportionate effect on Texans with disabilities and other marginalized groups that are less likely to have a photo ID,“ stated Jessica Gomez, Voting Rights Specialist for Advocacy Inc. “With a double-digit budget shortfall, potential lay-offs, workers’ compensation, health care reform, and environmental threats to the Gulf Coast, why would some legislators pick another partisan fight over the issue of voter intimidation?” asked René Lara, Texas AFL-CIO Legislative and Political Director.

“Why are we still addressing this issue when we all know it is not a problem and it only serves to divide and prevent us from working together to address the important issues facing our state and nation such as the budget, crime, globalization and the education of our young people?” questioned Gary Bledsoe, President of the Texas NAACP.

“If our Legislators want to address election problems, we hope they will tackle the real threat to democracy: declining voter participation,” stated Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas.

For all media inquiries, please contact Luis Figueroa at 210-383-9058. Coalition members will be available for further comment during the Texas House Elections Committee hearing in room E2.010 inside the Texas Capitol on June 14th.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund