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Texas Republicans on Tuesday passed a series of new restrictions on the state’s voting process, which concluded a months-long legislative effort by sending the measure to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who plans to sign the bill.
The passage of the Senate Bill 1 came at the second special legislative session convened by Abbott, following the historic efforts of House Democrats to deny the quorum to Republicans and block changes.
Twice, House Democrats left the state capital. The second time, dozens of lawmakers fled to Washington, DC, to defend the protection of federal voters. The last effort of the Democrats denied Republican quirks for more than a month.
The Texas House, led by the Republican Party, passed its bill last week, once enough Democrats had returned to the House. The legislation was addressed to the conference committee and came up with some changes.
It should be noted that the final bill does not include any provision aimed at controversial allegations of illegal voting against those with previous convictions.
Legislation in Texas would add new identification requirements for people who want to vote by mail; add new criminal sanctions to the voting process; to train observers in favor of the polls; and banning all-time voting options and 24-hour voting, measures taken last year by Harris County, Houston headquarters, amid the deadly outbreak of coronavirus.
In a statement, Abbott said: “Senate Bill 1 will build confidence in the outcome of our election, making it easier to vote and cheating more. I hope to sign Senate Bill 1 to ensure the integrity of the election. in Texas. “
Proven cases of election or election fraud are extremely rare.
Once Abbott signs the legislation, Texas will become the last GOP-led state to enact new voting restrictions, joining Georgia, Florida, Arizona and others.
Republican efforts to restrict access to the vote have gained significant momentum over the past year, as unfounded allegations of election fraud – largely propagated by former President Donald Trump and his allies – have gained momentum among Republican Party supporters.
Republican lawmakers say these bills, like the one passed in Texas and others in Georgia and Florida, will help ensure the sanctity of the U.S. election. But Democrats warn that such measures will have an excessive negative impact on communities of color and poor-voting blocs that often skew blue.
State Sen. Carol Alvarado, who obstructed SB 1 for 15 hours earlier this month, says the bill will create barriers for many Texans, particularly those who need help at the polls. “This will affect people’s lives,” the Democrat said.
Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke wrote on Twitter that “voter suppression has happened in Texas,” but praised state Democrats for defending the challenge all the time they had, even heading to Washington, DC, to deny the quorum to Republicans .
“It’s not the time to give up or give up,” he wrote. “It’s time to pass federal voting rights.”
With reports from Ashley Lopez of KUT in Austin.