As with payments handed in different states, voting rights teams stated the brand new provisions in Texas, if handed, could be prone to disproportionately have an effect on poorer individuals and people of shade.
“They’re intent on creating voting restrictions that reverse the developments that you simply’ve seen in Texas,” Gilberto Hinojosa, the chair of the Texas Democratic Occasion, stated in an interview this month. “And so they’re all geared round minorities within the sense that they’re primarily affecting giant city areas which might be the place most people of shade on this state stay right this moment.”
“What they’re making an attempt to do is create a system that daunts individuals from truly going out to vote,” he stated.
Republicans within the Legislature had defended the invoice, falsely arguing that it contained no restrictions on voting and saying that it was a part of a yearslong effort to strengthen election safety within the state. Even so, they acknowledged that there was no widespread voting fraud final yr in Texas, and the Republican secretary of state testified that the state’s election was “clean and safe.”
“This isn’t about who received or who misplaced, it’s actually to make the method higher,” State Senator Bryan Hughes, one of many Republican sponsors of the invoice, stated in an interview this month. “We need to make the elections extra accessible and safer, make them smoother.”
Briscoe Cain, the sponsor of the invoice within the Home, stated late Sunday that the invoice was meant to make sure that “conduct of elections be uniform and constant all through the state, to cut back the chance of fraud and the conduct of elections, to guard the secrecy the poll, promote voter entry and make sure that all legally solid ballots are counted.”
Voting rights teams have lengthy pointed to Texas as one of many hardest states within the nation for voters to solid ballots. One current examine by Northern Illinois College ranked Texas final in an index measuring the problem of voting. The report cited a number of things, together with a drastic discount of polling stations in some components of the state and strict voter identification legal guidelines.
David Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas. Reporting was additionally contributed by Austin Ramzy and Anna Schaverien.