Today Governor Greg Abbott signed a new voter ID into law, loosening identification requirements from a 2011 law a federal judge said was intentionally enacted by Republicans to discriminate against minority voter, who tend to vote for Democrats.
Senate Bill 5 will allow registered voter who lacks a photo ID to cast a ballot, if they can produce a document that lists their name and address, including voter registration certificate, utility bill, bank statement, government check or a payroll check.
Voters who produce the above identification will have to sign a “declaration of reasonable impediment” stating they could not acquire a photo ID, due to lack of birth certificate, work schedule, lack of transportation, disability, illness, family responsibility, or lost or stolen ID. If Voters lie on the declaration, they could be prosecuted for a state jail felony with a maximum of two years in prison.
SB5 takes effect on January 1.
Governor Abbott also signed into law a bill that will end straight-party voting; requiring every candidate on state ballots to be chosen individually after the law takes effect September 1, 2020.