Politics Every GOP Lawmaker Opposes Dem Voting Rights Bill Supported by Majority of Republican Voters
Texas Was Already One of the Hardest States to Vote in. It May Get Even Harder
The Texas House of Representatives approved a spate of new voting restrictions Friday that would ban election officials from sending out ballot applications to voters unless they specifically requested one and grant more power to partisan poll watchers. The measure, which Democrats, corporations, and voting rights advocates have said impinges on Texans’ right to vote, will soon return to the Republican-controlled Senate and could still undergo significant changes. Republican Governor Greg Abbott has broadly expressed support for the bill.
Noin support a Democratic voting rights bill despite a majority of GOP voters supporting the legislation.
The For the People Act passed the House in March without a single Republican voting in favor of it. The bill remains stalled in the, where its potential to progress is unclear due in part to unified Republican opposition. A poll released Monday from Democratic firm Data for Progress found that a 69 percent majority of likely voters support the bill, including a 52 percent majority of Republicans. The bill is supported by 85 percent of and 70 percent of independent voters.
Texas GOP Now Selling Election Reform Bill as 'Easy to Vote, Hard to Cheat'
"I don't believe that this is voter suppression; I believe it is voter enhancement," said Texas Republican Briscoe Cain, who authored the bill.The Texas House has followed similar paths that Georgia, Florida and Iowa have already meandered. The mantra in Georgia during April was to make it "easy to vote, hard to cheat.
There is less support for certain provisions of the bill among Republicans. Support was weakest when the poll asked whether respondents if they supported a plan to "give every voter the option to vote by mail," with only 38 percent of Republicans supporting the provision compared to 84 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independents. A similar spread was seen when the poll asked about "restoring voting rights to people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences," which 38 percent of Republicans supported.
However, other key provisions of the bill were very popular among Republicans. An 82 percent majority supported the proposal to "prevent foreign interference in election," with 85 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of independents agreeing. Another 80 percent of Republicans supported limiting "the influence of money in politics," while 77 percent supported the provision to "modernize election infrastructure to increase election security."
The Supreme Court made the GOP’s new voting restrictions possible
Voting rights mean little if the Court refuses to enforce them.Many provisions of this new Florida law mirror similar provisions in a Georgia voter suppression bill that became law last March. The Georgia law also takes aim at absentee voting, among other things, but its most troubling provision allows the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to effectively take over county election boards — boards that have the power to disqualify voters and to close polling places.
Other provisions that had majority support among Republicans were mandating an "early voting period of 15 days for federal elections" and an anti-gerrymandering provision that would "require all states to use non-partisan commissions to draw congressional districts so that no one party has an advantage." Pluralities of just under 50 percent supported "same-day voter registration for all eligible voters" and "limit voter roll purging, or the deletion of voters from registration lists."
The poll was conducted online among 1138 likely voters between April 16 and April 19. It has margin of error of 3 percent.
As Republican state lawmakers from around the country push bills that would restrict voting following former President's repeated claims that the 2020 election was decided by massive voter fraud, other recent polling has suggested a significant drop in Republican support for many proposals that would make voting easier.
Republican-led legislatures push forward with efforts to restrict voting access
Republican-controlled legislatures are charging forward with a raft of new state laws imposing limits on voting. © Megan Varner/Getty Images In this March 8, 2021, file photo, demonstrators stand outside the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta in opposition to House Bill 531. GOP lawmakers in Montana recently passed new voting restrictions. And GOP legislators in Florida, Arizona and Texas soon could follow -- as Republicans scramble to change the ground rules for future elections.
A poll released by Pew Research Center found that support for "no excuse" absentee voting had dropped to only 38 percent among GOP voters in April 2021, while a 57 percent Republican majority had supported the practice in October 2018. Republican support for automatic voter registration fell by 11 percent over the same time period, going from 49 percent to 38 percent.
Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Committee for comment.
Arizona Just Became the Latest State to Approve Mail Voting Restrictions. Here’s What to Know .
Arizona’s governor signed a bill Tuesday that could take more than 100,000 infrequent mail voters off a voting list that automatically delivers ballots by mail to voters —in a state where President Joe Biden clinched victory in 2020 by less than 11,000 votes. Arizona follows Georgia, Texas and Florida in enacting voting restrictions under the guise of “election integrity” over the last few weeks. © Olivier Touron/AFP—Getty Images Supporters of former President Donald Trump protest in front of the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 7, 2020.