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State of Texas
Texas State Representative Ron Reynolds
News Release
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Reynolds Files HB 279 to Revoke the Discriminatory Voter ID Law

On July 20, 2016, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Texas voter ID law as discriminatory and violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During the regular session, SB 5 was passed and it upholds the 2011 unconstitutional bill and it will still have a disproportionate effect on racial minorities.  

I have filed HB 279 which revokes the voter ID law and reinstates a constitutional and nondiscriminatory voter identification law for Texans of every race, ethnicity, political party and socioeconomic class.

Proponents of voter ID laws argue that they reduce electoral fraud and they are only slightly burdensome on voters. However, studies have shown both of these arguments to be false. A 2015 study completely rebuked the many recent claims of voter fraud affirming that any evidence of in-person voter fraud is non-existent. Further, the voter ID laws are more than slightly burdensome on voters. In fact, the burden is not evenly distributed amongst races, ethnicities, or political parties. A 2017 study "shows that strict identification laws have a differentially negative impact on the turnout of racial and ethnic minorities in primaries and general elections. We also find that voter ID laws skew democracy toward those on the political right.

In addition to the racially discriminatory burden placed on voters, there is a fiscal burden placed on all voters because of the voter ID laws. According to a Harvard study, "the expenses for documentation, travel, and waiting time [for obtaining voter identification cards] are significant... typically ranging from about $75 to $175." Therefore, even if the required ID cards themselves are free, the costs associated with obtaining the card can be expensive.

I will continue to fight for "Real Solutions for All Texans" and promote policies that emphasize democracy, not discrimination. With Texas ranking 49th nationally in voter turnout in the 2016 election, we need election reform to encourage more citizens to vote.    

Ron Reynolds represents Texas House District 27, which encompasses communities of Fort Bend County. Representative Reynolds currently serves as a member of the House Committees on Elections and Environmental Regulations.

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