Texas has become the latest GOP-dominated U.S. state to advance sweeping new voting restrictions, despite no evidence of any complications with the 2020’s vote and a coalition of state and federal authorities calling the 2020 Presidential Election the most secure in American history.
On Friday, the Republican-led restrictions cleared the Texas House, starting with a key vote at 1500 hrs. It followed hougrs of discussion that started the day before, and policymakers are now expected to begin negotiating a final version of the regulation that would need approval before heading to GOP Governor Greg Abbott, who gestured readiness to sign it.
He tweeted Friday, one step closer to his desk and making it TX law.
Moreover, from Florida to Iowa, Georgia, and now Texas, GOP legislators have used unsubstantiated claims by former American President Trump and his allies to justify new voting limits. They argue the new voting limits, which primarily target mail voting, are needed to boost public confidence and improve security. The rules, in some cases, also create onerous requirements and penalties for local election authorities.
Democrats have essentially no path to stop the bill in the Republican-controlled Legislature in Texas, but they cautioned of legal fights ahead.
Democratic state Representative Trey Martinez Fischer said before a final procedural vote on Friday afternoon that sent the bill back to the US Senate that Democrats have their vote and their majority. But guess what? He looks forward to seeing them in federal court. Moreover, he said that history is on their side.
The vote in Texas came a day after Florida Governor Rick DeSantis signed a wide-ranging list of new voting limits into law. New voting restrictions have also been signed into law in Iowa and Georgia. Elsewhere, GOPs in Michigan and Ohio are also pressing ahead with overhauls of various election procedures.
Voting and elections director for Common Cause, Sylvia Albert, which advocates for expanded voter access, said that they are seeing the strong influence of Donald Trump’s big lie. They are seeing the GOP go all-in on supporting Trump and his lies. Moreover, they are seeing them use that chance to create deliberate barriers to voting for Black and brown voters. It is un-American.
Democrats in the US House had dug in for a long fight starting on Thursday, then struck an agreement with GOPs that significantly watered down some of what advocates called the most problematic aspects of the bill, which passed 81/64. The session ends 31st May.
GOP state Representative Briscoe Cain said some of the changes were in response to recommendations made by disability rights groups and the NAACP.
Cain said that they do not need to wait for bad things to occur to protect the election security. He doesn’t believe that this is voter suppression; instead, he believes it is voter enhancement.
Other limits in Briscoe Cain’s bill would outlaw county officials from sending mail-ballot request forms to all registered voters, efforts voting authorities in Harris County put in place in 2020 to expand ballot access when in-person crowds were more dangerous amid the coronavirus epidemic. Harris County, which includes Houston, is a Democratic stronghold where 44 percent of the nearly five million residents are Latino and 20 percent are Black.
A Republican Texas state Representative Lyle Larson, wrote in an opinion column this week that what’s even more perplexing is the proposed lawmaking attacks voting practices that GOP have relied on for many years to turn out voters.
Over fifty firms and business organizations, including some in Texas state, released an open letter on Tuesday signifying opposition to any changes that would make it harder to vote in that US state.
Texas GOPs have angrily rejected those accusations. They express the actions would rein in powers that county leaders never had in the first place.