I'll start this post with a confession...well two.
First - most of the time when I vote, either early or in the regular election, I almost always use my drivers license as a form of ID. Not because I 'have to'. My voter registration card is one of those documents that I usually either misplace or forget when its time to vote. So, without resentment or inconvenience, I show my drivers license.
Second - I rarely vote a straight ticket ballot. I nearly always vote Democratic, but there are times, such as this past November, when there are candidates whom I know and trust, and those whom I know of and feel are doing a good job, who happen to be Republican. And, as in the past election, in cases where a Republican is running unopposed, I want my ballot to reflect my 'choice' even though there is no real choice (I want the same thing with an unopposed Democratic candidate).
I say that because two pieces of state legislation which seem to be gaining traction don't impact me personally, but, in my opinion represent a disturbing trend in Texas politics and political culture.
One is a voter ID bill (SB 14) and legislation under consideration to end straight ticket voting. The Republican Party has a safely ensconced majority in the state legislature. Texas is so red the political map looks as if the Lone Star state is hemorrhaging. And it is, but not in the way one would think. We're bleeding all of the fairness out of our politics.
SB 14 will require voters to show their ID, because of some hysteria regarding voter fraud. Mind you legislators supporting the bill cannot provide evidence of voter fraud...its a preemptive strike. A preemptive strike against something that wasn't seen as a problem in 2000 - 2006. No one, as far as I know of, has been arrested, tried or convicted of voter fraud. But its a problem and so, this law is being pushed. State Senator Royce West says, "Passing what will be the country’s toughest voter ID law was made easier when more than 20 Democrats were ousted on the way to Republicans gaining a 101-member super-majority in the Texas House. This means Republicans can convene and pass legislation without a single Democrat’s ‘yea’ vote."