TDP TO REP. LARRY GONZALES: PROVE YOUR CLAIM ON VOTER ID
October 21st, 2011
(Austin, TX) – Today, the Texas Democratic Party sent an open records request to Rep. Larry Gonzales (click here). In an interview with Austin’s YNN News regarding SB 14, the voter ID bill, Gonzales unequivocally stated that no one will be disenfranchised once all forms of ID allowable under SB 14 are factored in. The TDP is requesting the data Gonzales possesses to demonstrate his claim, pursuant to the state open records law, Tex. Gov’t Code Ann. Secs. 552.001 to 552.353.
In the YNN “Capital Tonight” interview airing October 14th, in regard to the over 600,000 voters the Texas Secretary of State reports lack the state-issued driver’s license or identification card, Gonzales stated:
“What the Democrats aren’t taking into consideration is, the numbers they saw do not include all 7 forms of identification. It only includes a few of them. We feel confident that once all the forms are included, no one will be disenfranchised and people will have access to the polls, and remember, it’s all about voter integrity in the first place.”
“Rep. Gonzales made a bold claim in defense of a bill that will disenfranchise his own constituents,” said TDP Spokeswoman Kirsten Gray. “His explanation just doesn’t pass the smell test and he’s obviously desperate to defend his purely partisan support for this discriminatory bill.”
The Republican voter ID law that Gonzales is defending is currently being reviewed for preclearance under the Voting Rights Act by the Department of Justice.
We know that nearly 604,000 Texans who are currently registered to vote have neither a Texas Driver’s License or Personal Identification Card (form of ID), according to documentation provided to the Department of Justice by the Texas Secretary of State.
To illustrate why Rep. Gonzales’ claim is a long-shot, here is a review of the other allowable forms of ID under SB 14:
- Texas Concealed Handgun License: According to PolitiFact Texas, only 1.8% of Texans have a CHL. According to the Texas Tribune, those that have the CHL are wealthier as a group.
- U.S. Military ID Card: 2009 U.S. Census numbers for on-base military show 131,548 for active duty military and 56, 367 for National Guard/Reserve.
- U.S. Passport: According to CNN, only 30% of Americans have a Passport. It doesn’t stand to reason that many Texans have a Passport but no Driver’s License or Personal Identification card.