ANAHEIM - The California Republican Party embraced a tea-party backed resolution urging adoption of a voter identification law Sunday, after the measure was softened considerably to remove any reference to photo identification.
The adopted resolution calls on the state Legislature "to enact a law which requires voters to identify themselves as registered voters whether they vote in person or by mail," but is sufficiently vague that at least some members of the party believed the identification could be verbal.
Leonard Stone, a tea party member and delegate from El Granada, in San Mateo County, said of the amendment, "I'm OK to see this happen progressively."
The newly-formed Tea Party California Caucus, a coalition of tea party groups from throughout the state, was a force at the convention, where ideological rifts have arisen in previous years between moderate and conservative elements of the party.
But the tea party members were applauded when party chairman Jim Brulte said at the general session Sunday, "If you're with the tea party, why don't you stand and let us welcome you."
The state party closed its biannual gathering with little drama on the convention floor, in stark contrast to the intensity in Washington around the government shutdown. In the time reserved for a report on goings-on in Congress, Brulte offered delegates just five words.
"Congress," he said, "is very, very busy."
PHOTO: Shawn Steel, the Republican National Committeeman from California, speaks to a delegate at the California Republican Party's biannual convention in Anaheim on Oct. 6, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders