Democrats are playing to their base, and risk overplaying their hand, by demonizing election bills stalled now in the Texas Legislature.

The political drama around House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1 is no worse than productions Republicans have been staging about the border crisis, for example, or election fraud, for that matter, but it’s not any better either.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;​.


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(14) comments

Jarvis Buckley

Think about this a moment.

What are the reasons a person wouldn’t get an ID .

My thoughts all contributing members of society have an ID.

Bill Broussard

I’m with you Jarvis

Michael once again rational, well thought out and well written!

Ted Gillis

It's what Michael said. Some random poll watcher, looking suspiciously at minority voters in line, as if to ask "Show Me Your Papers".

Raymond Lewis

Good piece Michael. Agreed with the exception of one statement; what 'should' have happened. Theatrics seems to be where our politics and political debate has gone. When we find the will we will find our way back.

Jose' Boix

The salient point in this theatrical show, should be to help us visualize a picture, I would call "The Total Absence of Legislative Leadership." Regardless of political posture, we would expect that somewhere in the multitude of elected officials a leader would emerge to gather and coalesce forces into reaching balanced decisions. So, it looks like we revert to childhood tantrums; play by my rules or no play! All I see is a shameful example of government in action - perhaps a questionable word in this case! A great learning experience and tool for our upcoming government students. And, the real concern, is that I do not see a positive tide of change, as the noise seems to be more for a "flip;" i.e., red to blue, blue to red. Just my thoughts.

Charlotte O'rourke

“It’s reasonable to object to the objectionable parts of the bills. It’s possible to oppose the whole package based on the argument we should work to increase voter participation by every reasonable means.”

Balanced and reasonable editorial as usual. I object to several items in the voting bill, agree with others, but the votes and leadership aren’t there for compromise.

It’s hard to find that common sense and a centrist view in today’s political environment.

Diane Turski

I believe there is a false equivalency in Mr. Smith's comparison of the Democrats' objection to voter suppression and voter subversion as "political theater" compared to the Republicans' border wall example of political theater. Mr. Smith's basic assumption appears to be that the two parties are equally able to debate ideology, which is false since the Republican party has devolved into nothing more than a scorched earth power grabber fueled by the Trump cult's big lie that Trump did not lose the election. After all court cases were decided against Trump's big lie and all legitimate recounts, including by Republican led states, were also decided against Trump's big lie, it should be clear to anyone paying attention that these Republican led voter suppression and voter subversion laws are the real political theater, while the Democrats' decision to stop these unnecessarily restrictive laws based only on a big lie are not political theater, but a legitimate attempt to prevent the destruction of our Democratic Republic, which the Democrats are trying to keep, as Ben Franklin warned them to do.

Robert Ray

Diane, your evocation of Ben Franklin’s warning really calls into question your knowledge of the history of political parties. See, the current Democratic Party didn’t exist during Franklin’s life. There was, however, the Democratic-Republican Party, but really, it was more akin to the modern Republican Party than the current Democratic Party. You might want to grab a quick refresher on the subject. It can be some compelling stuff.

George Croix

Anyone actually reading the bill can easily see it does NOTHING to restrict honest voting, and in fact expands voting access with the exception of the dead people vote, or the felon vote, or the votes cast somehow by people who no longer even live here but who somehow manage to get a mail in ballot….wink wink…nod nod….

It DOES in fact make lawful voting easier and cheating harder. Win win…

The pandemic related exceptions to voting LAWS were exactly that, exceptions based on a unique circumstance. If people want them retained let them vote in representatives in sufficient number to make that happen. Voting is too precious to just throw the doors open and assume participants all follow the rules. The most basic of which is one man, one vote…not one vote made for you….hence the popularity of voter ID in national polling. Something like 80% approve of that, memory serving…

What possible reason is there to oppose same except a desire to allow people to vote for others or when legally ineligible. Please, no garbage about anyone being unable to get ID…in this day and age absence of same is a willful personal choice, not a plot to disenfranchise anybody, contrary to the hyperbolic usual suspects claiming otherwise.

That shot about ‘partisan poll watchers’ is a bit disingenuous, as the purpose of that in this bill is to protect BOTH the right and left, Dems and Reps (and Whatever’s…) from being excluded from monitoring…monitoring…the handling and counting of ballots. It does not allow interfering in that, but keeps one Party from being excluded…as most certainly did happen in places. In a nation polarized along political lines and with elections sometimes coming down to a comparative handful of votes deciding the outcome(s) the need to NOT have any extra counting of individual ballots or mysterious suddenly found boxes of ballots show up is in BOTH the major Party interests. Eventually, what goes around comes around for us all…best if that is above board and honest for all…

Now, back to that effort to make this Democrat State Representatives’ hissy fit theatrics the equivalent to hundreds of thousands of border invaders coming in illegally and in so doing also enable the cartels, while the CBP is tied up handling these products of Biden’s Border Willful Myopia, to bring in a few thousand percent more of fentanyl, etc.

Wonder how many will die because of THAT while the MSM and other usual suspects obsess over the ‘sacrifices’ being made to ‘save our democracy’ buy the folks who, cough, cough, subverted it themselves….

George Croix


I urge Gov. Abbott to send those busses and planes full of Biden Invitees now shipped around the country to Teichman Road and Scholes airport and in so doing dispel the notion that the border invasion crisis is not really such…


George Laiacona

This situation could create a copycat situation in the future. If the Democrats can do this escape tactics idea today what is to prevent the Republicans from doing the same thing in the future?

Charlotte O'rourke

George Croix, welcome back. it’s good to see you are back posting George. This bill does absolutely nothing to make voting easier. I can understand making elections secure, but not more difficult by taking away things like drive through voting or allowing mail in voting for any reason and for anyone as long as it is validated,

Voting should be encouraged - what can we do as a nation to ensure easy, secure voting for every American. That should be the goal and standard we are striving for

George Croix

Hey, Charlotte. Been a while. Hope you’ve been well.

I’m only doing a bit of bouncing in/out. Too busy after my third retirement to be inside much.

Anyway, when one looks only at voting LAW in place pre-pandemic, which is the standard by which we should judge changes, not the quasi-legal, if that, accommodations made due to COVID 19, the proposed changes do make voting easier, and cheating harder. Apples to apples. The COVID oranges never were part of voting law….

Easy, secure voting. No problem. Pass the currently proposed legislation and implement it and enforce it.

If only convenience were important, and we didn’t care who voted for who and how often, we’d vote by phone or the internet….grin

Voting is a right for citizens, but only voting one man, one vote, personally, not by proxy. And the voter is supposed to be alive, legally eligible to vote, and vote in their voting area, and, again, be who they say they are.

The only thing this legislation will disenfranchise is cheating.

And the old “too hard for some to get an ID is so stale it’s ID these days is a willful choice. The right to vote does not include having ones hand held for common, everyday things.

Gotta love that the Dems going on their little hissy fit trip to DC to protest voter ID had to show ID to get on the plane to get there…

Oh, AND for their COVID tests…..!!🙃

T.W. Day

I don't understand the issue of saying that having to get an I.D. to vote disenfranchises people to be able to vote. I have to show and I.D. for beer and liquor, boarding a plane, picking up my child at school, etc., etc. If you have a social security number, you should by law be required to have a current I.D. An I.D. to vote is the only clear way to make sure you have the right to vote. Trying to spin the narrative like Mr. Smith is doing only exacerbates the problem of trying to get people to understand that voting and the right to vote are important cornerstones to the safety and security of our nation

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