Texas House approved its voter integrity bill on Thursday. According to the Washington Post, election bill SB1 passed 79-37 along party lines after 12 hours of debate in which the Democrats accused Republicans of restricting voter rights. The Post reported:
“The Texas bill restricts methods of voting, tightens the rules around mail ballots, empowers partisan poll-watchers and creates new rules and penalties for mistakes by election officials and people helping others vote. The measure also outlaws drive-through and 24-hour voting, which were successfully implemented — and widely embraced — in Harris County last year as pandemic-era voting alternatives.”
Republicans have argued the bill will actually expand voting and lessen the possibilities for voter fraud. Prior to the vote, Texas Rep. Andrew Murr (R) argued that the bill contains bi-partisan language and “demonstrates that all viewpoints have been and are being considered, regardless of party affiliation.”
He also asserted that the bill will make elections “uniform and consistent throughout this state to reduce the likelihood of fraud, protect the secrecy of the ballot, promote voter access, and ensure that all legally cast ballots are counted.”
Rep Julie Johnson Tweeted the following; “When it comes to bulwarking our right to vote, all cards are on the table. We broke #quorum again today because the Gov & #txlege Repubs opted to bully Texans out of our constitutional rights in lieu of finding solutions to quandaries that authentically subsist. #SuppressionSession #DemsOut.”
Texas Democrats criticized the law. “Intentional discrimination of people of a certain race, is that racism?” state Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D) cried out on the Texas House floor. “We can verbalize about racial impacts of this legislation without inculpating members of this body of being racist,” Phelan responded.
“I’m sorry that some people get triggered when you verbalize about intentional discrimination,” verbally expressed Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchía. “If this isn’t about expanding access to the franchise, if it’s not about the very, already very low incidence of fraud and where you’re not exhorted of any examples. If it’s not about the secrecy of the ballot box because no voter has repined, well, my inference is well, it may be about the same stuff those other bills were about.”