Editorial: Don’t blow off voter ID, runoff

Amarillo Globe-News

The state of Texas has now conducted two statewide elections requiring voters to show one of seven forms of voter ID — and again, there have been little, if any, reports of significant problems.

Now that the dust has settled from the March 4 election (well, almost settled, other than a few notable runoffs), it is worth borrowing this recent statement from Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry: “The (March 4) election was smooth, secure and successful. … We did not hear any reports of significant issues related to photo ID. Texans came to the polls prepared to show one of the seven forms of approved identification.”

It would seem the fears of those who oppose steps to ensure the integrity of the ballot box were unfounded. Primarily, those fears consisted of conspiracy theories about voter ID being some sort of underhanded attempt at muting minority voters, to illogical claims of some wanting to keep the less fortunate from going to the polls — despite the fact the state will provide voter ID free of charge.

We are glad that voter ID has proved to be an effective and practical tool to make sure that voting — arguably the most cherished right of democracy and freedom — is legitimate and, in the words of Berry, secure.

Fortunately, another election in Texas came and went without any concerns related to voter ID, and the only remnant of the March 4 election is the May 27 runoff.

However, the aforementioned runoff is important, from a statewide perspective.

The GOP race for lieutenant governor is down to two — incumbent David Dewhurst and tea party favorite and state legislator Dan Patrick. The winner will face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in November.

This is no yawner of a runoff, because the office of lieutenant governor in Texas is arguably the most powerful office in the state.

The GOP nod for attorney general is down to Dan Branch and Ken Paxton, while Tommy Merritt and Sid Miller will square off for agriculture commissioner. (Interestingly, Kinky Friedman made the Democratic runoff for agriculture commissioner.)

The GOP race for a spot on the Railroad Commission is down to Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian.

Hopefully, the May 27 runoff (early voting begins May 19) will have enough flavor to entice voters to the polls.

And as far as voter ID goes, we predict another “smooth, secure and successful” election.

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