On Tuesday afternoon, the 20 Republicans in the state Senate banded together behind a bill to mandate voter identification. The coalition ensures a vote on the floor of the Senate, and absent any changes, passage to the House.

Altogether, Senate Bill 5 follows a court decision handed down by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, who ordered in September that Texas must change its voter identification law that required only photo identification be used to vote.

Changes came in time for the November election that allowed voters to sign an affadavit claiming a reasonable impediment to obtaining photo ID in time to vote. For the most part, Senate Bill 5 follows this decision but with a few additions.

One of those additions is the mandate that requires the secretary of state to establish "mobile units" to provide election identification certificates. These units can be requested for special events or certain constituents.

The bill instructs the secretary of state to consult with the Department of Public Safety on best practices for issuing these certificates.

The legislation also requires photo identification to vote absent a reasonable impediment. Acceptable forms of photo identification include a driver's license, United States military identification card, U.S. citizenship certificate, handgun carry license and U.S. passport.

Should a voter not be able to obtain one of these forms of identification, he or she could present other forms of identification with a signed affidavit stating a reasonable impediment. These forms of identification include a government document showing the name and address of the voter, a copy of a current utility bill, a bank statement, government check, paycheck or certified copy of a domestic birth certificate.

The bill states an election officer may not question the reasonableness of an impediment claimed by the voter. If a voter claims an impediment, he or she will also be notified that they are subject to prosecution for perjury if any information is determined to be false.

Reasonable impediments listed within the bill include lack of transportation, lack of birth certificate, work schedule, lost or stolen identification, disability or illness, family responsibilities, or a long wait period for a piece of identification.

The bill also adds clarifies what the exact punishment would be for someone falsely claiming an impediment. Anyone doing so would be subject to a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

Those 70 years and older can also use a form of photo identification if it is expired as long as all other information is valid.

View the full text of the bill here.