The Texas Senate passed a sweeping bill restricting access to the vote, despite repeated efforts by Democratic lawmakers to block the legislation.
At TuesdayTexas Republican-majority Senate proposed a bill that will ban 24-hour voting and drive-thru voting, create more stringent voter identification requirements for postal voting, and bar election officials send unsolicited postal ballot requests to voters.
The legislation was passed by the State Senate with a 18-13 votes, depending on party lines.
Now the bill is heading to the office of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it.
Voting rights group Fair Fight Action called the bill a “Undemocratic attack on the freedom to vote. Texas Democrats called him “Anti-voter”, a “suppression of voters invoice “and a”attack on our democracy. ”
The bill was passed by Texas House last week, despite Democratic lawmakers fleeing the state for more than a month in an attempt to block it. More than 50 Democrats are gone in Washington, DC, to deny the Texas legislature a quorum, without which the Republican-led State House could not move forward. Eventually enough Democratic lawmakers returned for the legislative process to continue.
Texas Democrats, other democratic lawmakers and voting groups have long urged Congress to pass legislation at the federal level to protect voting rights.
Republicans in legislatures across the country have been pushing hundreds of bills at the state level that would restrict voting. Such efforts have already become law in several states, including Georgia, Arkansas and Arizona.
Voter suppression efforts disproportionately deprive black, Latin, and low-income voters of the right to vote.
At the federal level, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act would restore voting rights protections that were removed by the US Supreme Court, allowing the Department of Justice to review new changes to voting laws in states that had previously had “violations.” And the People’s Law would replace much of Republican state-level efforts by forcing states to implement measures including early voting, unapologetic mail ballots and same-day automatic voter registration.
But federal bills, which passed in the Democratic-led U.S. House, face tough hurdles in the Senate, where Democrats have only a slim majority, Republicans oppose two bills and Leading Senate Democrats refuse to support filibuster reform which would allow legislation to move forward without reaching a threshold of 60 votes.
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