Politics Texas lawmakers advance restrictive election bill
GOP voting restriction push grows: 361 bills in 47 states; at least 70 in Texas and Arizona
More than 100 bills that would restrict ballot access have been introduced — within just the past month Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Lynda M.
advanced a restrictive election bill out of committee Thursday morning despite major criticism from Democrats, corporations and voting rights advocates.
Thewould impose criminal penalties for errors during the election process, such as making it a felony for an official to give a voter an absentee ballot application or solicit the submission of an application if the voter does not first request it first.
House Bill 6, is one of dozens of restrictions being considered by the Texas lawmakers this session. While the bill says it aims "to reduce the likelihood" of voter fraud in elections, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas or elsewhere. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, made election integrity a priority for the legislature.
Georgia has tightened its voting laws. Which states will be next?
Arizona, Florida and Texas are considering legislation that would add more restrictions to voting.Arizona, Florida and Texas are considered the next frontier for altering the way people vote, with their legislatures considering proposals for additional ID requirements, restrictions on dropboxes, and cuts to private funding for local election offices.
Austin billionaire Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies, spoke out against the bill last week.
“Free, fair, equitable access to voting is the foundation of American democracy," he tweeted. "Those rights — especially for women, communities of color — have been hard-earned. Governments should ensure citizens have their voices heard. HB6 does the opposite, and we are opposed to it.”
American Airlines also spoke out against another Republican-advanced election bill, Senate Bill 7, and more thanmore broadly
Republicans have responded furiously to corporate pressure.
"Texans are fed up with corporations that don't share our values trying to dictate public policy," Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement.
Voting Restrictions Aren’t the Primary Threat to U.S. Democracy
The GOP is better at denying Democratic voters equal representation than it is at denying them access to the ballot.Less than six decades ago, Georgia was an authoritarian white ethno-state. At that time — and for the bulk of the state’s post-emancipation history — the preferred political party of white Georgians subordinated democracy to racial hierarchy by enacting facially neutral voting laws that disenfranchised virtually all of the state’s African Americans.
Texas leads the nation in terms of the sheer number of proposed election restrictions, but former President Donald Trump's repeated falsehoods about the election being stolen from him has inspired an avalanche of election-related bills nationwide. By all accounts, the 2020 election was secure and the results were accurate. Trump's attorney general, William Barr, said there was, and Trump's legal efforts to overturn the results .
State Republicans across the country, many of whom supported Trump in his false claims about the election, say voter restrictions are important to restoring trust in the election process.
"The bill is needed because Americans no longer trust the system," Patrick said in a press conference defending Texas' legislative work on the Senate measure. "When you suggest we're trying to suppress the vote, you are in essence, between the lines, calling us racist, and that will not stand!"
Republican state lawmakers look to pass stricter voting requirements. This is how they would work. .
Despite winning the Electoral College in 2016, Trump couldn’t admit he had actually lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, instead claiming without evidence that she had received millions of illegal votes. Trump made his baseless election fraud accusations again going into the 2020 election and escalated them after Joe Biden was declared the winner, with Trump and many of his supporters refusing to acknowledge his defeat. The widespread belief among Republicans that the election was illegitimate culminated in a “Stop the Steal” rally headlined by Trump on Jan. 6, the day Congress met to officially certify Biden as the winner of the election.