Despite Voter ID Victory, This Fort Worth Congressman Is Cautious | KERA News

Despite Voter ID Victory, This Fort Worth Congressman Is Cautious

Jul 22, 2016

A federal appeals court invalidated the Texas voter ID law this week. The controversial law is one of the strictest in the country, requiring voters to show one of seven forms of identification before casting their ballot. Despite the victory in court, the man who filed the lawsuit -- "Veasey v. Abbott" -- is cautious. 

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth) challenged the law, and he explained the roots of the lawsuit.  

Interview Highlights: U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey…

…On what bothered him about the voter ID law:

“The intent always was what sort of bothered me. When I was in the state legislature, we asked for different examples of voter fraud, and the Republicans could never produce any sort of in-person voter fraud examples.

The only example they could come close to was a guy in Houston who had voted, and he should not have voted because he was a resident alien. He actually voted Republican – he was a white male from Canada – and so the wild accusations of Republcians would come up with about the undocumented voting…they could never produce any evidence of in-person voter fraud taking place.

Democrats tried to offer up several amendments that would make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote, and they wouldn’t take any of our amendments. The word that was going around the Capitol at the time was that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) had drawn this bill up, they picked a Republican in the state House of Representatives to file the bill, and that person was not allowed to accept any amendments.”

…On voters affected by the law:

“There are people that we know were denied the right to vote. We actually helped a constituent in this office that was having a hard time finding his credentials, so we know there are people out there. We also know that there are individuals out there that didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t have the proper ID this time.”

…On how the state legislature may get around this court ruling:

“I think you’re going to see a lot of different laws that are going to try to be pushed out of Austin making it harder for people to vote. I think [this] voter ID law is just the beginning.

I was on the elections committee in my last session in the state House of Representatives. There was one proposal a guy had where he wanted people to be able to use their cell phones so they could record people while they were voting. I said, ‘why on Earth would you want to record people who are trying to exercise their right to vote?’ The guy said, ‘because we know that’s where the fraud takes place, and if we’re going to convict people for voter fraud, we need to catch them in the act.’ Imagine how many people would not vote if they knew they were being recorded while they voted.”

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey represents Texas’ 33rd congressional district.