Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed a massive voter suppression bill. It’s one more addition to the wave of voting restrictions being enacted across the country in response to the big lie of former President Trump’s stolen election.
Senate Bill 1 makes it more difficult for voters with disabilities or language barriers to attend. It also makes it easier for poll observers to harass voters and election officials. And it bans 24-hour voting and automatic actions, measures taken to make voting safer and easier during the pandemic, which continues to be especially bad in Texas.
Last week, even before Abbott had a chance to sign the bill, we filed a federal lawsuit to stop the worst provisions, working with our co-advisor to the Mexican Education and Legal Defense and Education Fund ( MALDEF), Harris County Attorney’s Office, and the law firms of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.
Our lawsuit sets out how the law violates the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Voting Rights Act. Texas ’attack on voting rights is blatantly illegal and cruelly futile.
Abbott and Republican lawmakers responsible for this transvestite claim it is “electoral integrity.” But this whopper does not support any kind of scrutiny. Like anywhere else in the country, there is absolutely no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Abbott knows this. His own attorney general spent 22,000 hours looking for fraud. What did you find? Sixteen cases of false addresses on registration forms in a group of about 17 million registered voters. Then his own secretary of state told Republican lawmakers what they didn’t want to hear: “Texas had a smooth, secure election.”
We represent a wide range of plaintiffs, including the Texas Impact interfaith advocacy organization, the Austin chapter of the Antifamation League, and Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria. This group represents the diversity of jeans whose voice the state is trying to silence, all united to defend democracy in the Lone Star State.
Texas was already one of the states that made it harder to vote in that country, and this latest attack on access to the vote brings it closer to the bottom of the pile. As the next election approaches, there is no time to lose. Congress must listen to Texas Democrats and other right-wing advocates for the American people, and pass the People’s Act and John R. Lewis ’Advancement of Voting Rights Act.
The bills, both passed in the House, are a double whammy against the suppression of voters and would no longer apply the worst restrictions before the next federal election list.