Thank you all for being here today.
At the heart of every true democracy is the certainty of open and fair elections.
At the heart of every open and fair election is the integrity of each and every vote.
In Texas and across this country, we've witnessed elections in which just a handful of votes ended up making all the difference, and we all know that the results of elections matter, making differences in peoples' lives, and in the course of history.
It's our duty to ensure that our elections are fair beyond reproach and accurately reflect the will of the voters.
That's what Voter ID is all about.
Today, we take a major step forward in securing the integrity of the electoral process in Texas, a major step in protecting the most cherished right we enjoy as citizens.
Under SB 14, voters will be required to produce a simple photo ID to verify their identity before casting their vote.
This simple action, no more complicated than cashing a check or applying for a library card down the street here in Austin, will appropriately help maintain the integrity and fairness of our electoral system here in the Lone Star State.
The right to vote is simply too important for us to take the act of voting lightly.
That's why I made Voter ID an emergency item, and that's why I was encouraged to see the leadership of Sen. Troy Fraser and Rep. Patricia Harless on this issue working under the steady hands of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus, and with the full support of so many others in both chambers, many of whom are with us today.
With this bill, we can protect the rights of voters by protecting the integrity of the elections they're voting in.
With this bill, we can ensure that the course we're on in Texas, remains the course charted by the voters of Texas.