The swirling force of Texas politics

Gov. Perry Signs Voter ID Bill Into Law

Friday, May 27, 2011  |  Updated 11:25 AM CDT
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Gov. Perry Signs Voter ID Bill Into Law

flickr/Silly Jilly

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Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a measure that requires Texans to show photo identification before voting.

The governor gathered with lawmakers Friday to celebrate a victory for Republicans who have been fighting for a photo ID requirement for years.

Perry declared the bill a legislative emergency early on, creating a legislative battleground. Republicans say the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud. Democrats say it's designed to boost conservative voter margins by intimidating minorities and the poor.

The law would require voters to present a valid state or federal photo ID. A driver's license, personal ID card, military ID, passport or concealed handgun permit is acceptable.

Voters without IDs could cast provisional ballots but would have to show identification within six days for their votes to count.

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