Republicans in the Texas Senate took a big step toward tightening their state’s election laws this weekend, prompting outcry from Democrats.
The sweeping measure, known as Senate Bill 7, passed along party lines around 6 a.m. after eight hours of questioning by Democrats, who have virtually no path to stop it from becoming law. But the bill must still clear a final vote in the Texas House later Sunday in order to reach Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it.
BIDEN CALLS TEXAS VOTING BILL ‘WRONG AND UN-AMERICAN’
High-profile Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries criticized the bill on Sunday.
“The Texas law is shameful and Republicans clearly, in Texas and throughout the country, want to make it harder to vote and easer to steal an election,” he told “State of the Union.” “That’s the only way I can interpret the voter suppression epidemic that we see working its way from one state, Georgia, to Arizona to Texas and all across the country.”
In this May 6, 2021 file photo, a group opposing new voter legislation gather outside the House Chamber at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
The bill would newly empower partisan poll watchers by allowing them more access inside polling places and threatening criminal penalties against elections officials who restrict their movement. Republicans originally proposed giving poll watchers the right to take photos, but that language was removed from the final bill.
Another new provision could also make it easier to overturn an election in Texas, allowing for a judge to void an outcome if the number of fraudulent votes cast could change the result, regardless of whether it was proved that fraud affected the outcome.
Election officials would also face new criminal penalties, including felony charges for sending mail voting applications to people who did not request one. The Texas District and County Attorneys Association tweeted that it had counted in the bill at least 16 new, expanded or enhanced crimes related to elections.
GOP legislators are also moving to prohibit Sunday voting before 1 p.m., which critics called an attack on what is
Go To The SourceRead More