Friday, February 8, 2008

Republican Voter ID Bills Die Quickly

Two GOP bills aimed at forcing voters to present photo identification and prove U.S. citizenship before being allowed to cast a ballot died in a House committee Thursday.

HB 1039 and HB 1177 were killed on party-line votes in the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.

Republicans argued that the bills are needed to assure that only people entitled to vote do so. "The issue we're dealing with is the integrity of our voting system," Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood, said.

But Democrats, including committee chair Paul Weissman, D-Louisville, said they thought the bills would disenfranchise people. The bills were "thinly veiled means of discouraging some people from going to their polling places, and would severely damage an already fragile system," Weissman said.

HB 1039 was sponsored by Summers, while HB 1177 was sponsored by Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch.