Voter ID: By a nearly party-line 21-10 vote, the Senate gave its preliminary approval today (Monday) to a bill to update the state’s Voter ID law. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) was the only Democrat to vote for the bill, joining the chamber’s 20 Republicans.

Senate Bill 5 largely conforms to a recent judicial order requiring an option for voters who are impeded from obtaining one of the required identifications. The bill also makes it a felony – carrying up to a 10-year prison sentence – for a voter who intentionally falsifies a declaration of reasonable impediment. Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), the bill’s author, added an amendment to the bill that increased the prosecutorial standard to secure a conviction, easing some fears that voters risked jail time over confusion with the Voter ID law.

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