Texas House Approves GOP Voting Restrictions

After months of delays by Texas Democrats, the Texas House voted 80-41 to approve Senate Bill 1 which will enact several new barriers to the ballot box for marginalized voters.

From CNN:

It now moves back to the state Senate to iron out minor differences with the House’s version of the bill before heading to the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, whose strong-arm tactics — including calling lawmakers into two special sessions this summer with instructions to approve “election integrity” measures after the Democratic boycott had stymied earlier versions — paved the way for the bill’s passage.

Opponents warned that the bill would make voting harder for people of color, who often back Democrats, as well as people with disabilities — in part by outlawing the all-night and drive-thru voting that Houston conducted during the 2020 election.

The legislation also bans local elections officials from sending unsolicited applications to vote by mail, including to voters over the age of 65 who are automatically eligible to cast mail-in ballots.

Additionally, it limits how much others can help voters, including those with disabilities, to cast their ballots.

Democrats tried to add amendments to the bill (allowing same-day and automatic voter registration, allow students to use their college IDs to vote, and create special voting conditions for people with Covid-19) but all were voted down by Republicans.