Texas Republicans’ Continued Assaults Threaten our Democracy and Blatantly Target People of Color
AUSTIN, Texas — Shortly before midnight, Texas House Republicans overwhelmingly voted along party lines 79-37 to pass one of the most restrictive voting bills not seen since the Jim Crow era. The anti-voter bill, S.B. 1 will receive one more vote in the Texas House today and then move to the Senate, where it is expected to pass as soon as today.
S.B. 1 is a racist, anti-democracy bill that will cement Texas’s ranking as the hardest state in the country to vote in. S.B. 1 contains provisions that would make it harder to vote by mail, clear the path to voter intimidation by emboldening partisan poll watchers, put up new barriers to voting for Texans with disabilities, make election workers vulnerable to lawsuits, and eliminate voting options like drive-thru and 24-hour voting that would benefit working people and voters of color.
Republicans added several restrictive amendments to the original bill, bringing the House version of the bill closely in line with the Senate version of the bill to fast-track the process. This is expected to pass the Senate before the weekend.
Democrats are continuing to fight on all fronts. Democratic lawmakers in Texas are continuing to do everything in their power to mitigate the harm Republicans are doing, while a delegation of House Democrats in D.C. continues to lobby federal lawmakers to pass national voting rights protections into law. Earlier this week, we saw key progress, thanks to our lawmakers’ efforts, when the U.S. House passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which remained stalled until Texas Democrats ratcheted up the pressure this summer.
Texas Democratic Party Voter Protection Director Rose Clouston issued the following statement:
“Texas Democrats have been on the frontline of the national struggle for voting rights for the last seven months, and today, that’s truer than ever. With Republicans’ anti-voter bill S.B. 1 passing in the Texas House, we will continue to fight back with everything we have to protect Texans’ right to vote — whether it’s speaking out in the Texas legislature or rallying federal legislators in D.C.
“S.B. 1 directly targets Black and Brown Texans, voters with disabilities, working Texans, seniors, and young people. Just yesterday, Republicans introduced an amendment once again targeting Souls to the Polls efforts — a direct attack on an initiative that supports Black voters in making their voices heard. Republicans are not even bothering to hide the hate behind their efforts. This is a white supremacist power grab, and we will not stand by and watch it happen.
“This is a direct attack on our democracy, and in the face of it, we need the Senate to build on the U.S. House’s forward momentum, and pass comprehensive federal voting rights protections into law. Our constitutional right to make our voice heard at the ballot box — the foundation of our democracy — is at stake.”