Texas Senators enacted a Republican-led voting reform law on Tuesday, after Democrats’ departure from the state in an attempt to stop the passing of the House’s variation of the bill.
In a party-aligned vote, 18-4 Senate GOP members passed a law that would more greatly regulate voting laws, in an effort that Democrats say is ‘Jim Crow 2.0.’
Eight Democrat Senators joined House Democrats in leaving the state for Washington, D.C.
A ninth senator is anticipated to meet the Democrats in D.C., but a quorum in the Texas Senate was kept with 22 of its 31 members being present, allowing for the bill to be passed.
“Rather than keeping to fruitlessly debate the GOP who will not legislate in good faith, Texas Senate Dems decided to take the issue into their own hands to protect the voting rights of Texan citizens – especially those of color, people with disabilities and seniors — and partner with our friends at the federal level to complete voting rights laws that would pull back discriminatory voter laws and unfair redistricting,” the Dem. senators said in a joint comment.
But while Dems have said the laws proposed by Republicans are suppressive attempts to lower voter turnout, Republicans say the laws will protect the elective process.
Author of the Texas bill, Senator Bryan Hughes said the language gives “common-sense reforms.”
Under the potential law, a ban would be issued on drive-thru voting, video footage would be a requirement, and tracker devices would be put inside all devices used to count ballots to watch “input and activity.”
Changes would be done to the state’s poll-watching process, and mail-in voting would get more scrutiny – requiring all voters to use a driver’s license or a S.S. number on their ballot.
Texas Governor Abbott has threatened to arrest the lawmakers who left for Washington, D.C. in a drive to interrupt the vote until Congress enacts a voting reform bill that would expand voters rights federally.
Biden has said he wants Congress to enact the “John Lewis Act” and “For the People Act” to reverse what Democrats say is an attack on minority voters.
Author: Steven Sinclaire