The problem for Texas Lib-Dems, is that they have been using the 'no evidence of fraud' argument as justification for opposing voter photo ID legislation. Never mind that Texas is somewhat historically infamous for voter fraud, due to the 1948 'Box 13' scandal. Under current Texas law, voters may present various forms of non-photo identification, including a voter card, utility bill, or bank statement. Even most rank and file Democrats recognize that requiring an ID at the polls is just common sense, and 82% of all Texans support voter photo ID laws.
However, the most liberal wing of the Democrat party is so afraid of voter ID requirements, that in the 2009 legislative session, they were willing to kill hundreds of bills beneficial to their own districts and constituencies in order to stop passage of the law. Representative Diana Maldonado (D-Round Rock) was among those who participated in the 'chubbing,' or filibuster, of Voter Photo ID. Observers such as Will Lutz expressed surprise at Maldonado's actions:
There are significant divisions within the Democratic caucus about whether this was a good idea. Only a handful of Democrats in mostly safe districts partook in the filibuster. Rural Democrats and most of the suburban ones from swing districts (with the notable exception of Rep. Diana Maldonado [D-Round Rock] who chubbed) stayed away from the back microphone during this exercise.Unfortunately for Round Rock and the rest of House District 52, Maldonado placed her desire to stop election workers from checking ID above the legislative needs of the district. Among the legislation thwarted by chubbing was an especially important TXDOT Sunset bill. I will be taking a closer look at some of the 'killed bills' in the coming weeks.
While Democrats try to downplay the issue, preferring to call it 'voter impersonation,' evidence indicates that voter fraud continues to be a problem in Texas. Voter photo ID requirements cannot completely stop those determined to commit election fraud, but a well-crafted law will be a deterrent to the most egregious offenders. Voters would do well to remember Representative Maldonado's actions in the 2009 Session, and limit her to a one-term-wonder.