Opponents of the modifications in Texas filed lawsuits in federal courtroom earlier than the invoice was even signed.
TYLER, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law an overhaul of the state’s election guidelines following months of protests by Democrats.
The sweeping invoice signed Tuesday by the two-term Republican governor additional tightens Texas’ strict voting legal guidelines. Texas joins greater than a dozen states which have handed Republican-backed voting modifications for the reason that 2020 election.
Lawsuits have already been filed to dam it, together with one by LULAC, Voto Latino, Texas Alliance for Retired American and Texas AFT. You can read the full suit here.
It comes days after another lawsuit by organizations representing Latino and Black Texans was filed to cease the sweeping election modifications.
Texas’ new voting legal guidelines have been pushed partly by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Earlier on Tuesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted his displeasure.
Senate Invoice 1 went to the governor after it handed within the second legislative session following delays by Home Democrats who broke quorum to cease the vote.
“One factor that every one Texans can agree, is that we will need to have belief and confidence in our elections,” Abbott mentioned earlier than signing the invoice. “The invoice that I am about to signal helps to realize that aim. One factor that it does is, it insures that each eligible voter could have the chance to vote.”
However opponents of the modifications in Texas have already begun submitting lawsuits in federal court.
“This isn’t about defending the poll field,” mentioned Domingo Garcia, LULAC nationwide president, throughout a digital press convention following the invoice signing. “That is about ensuring it’s more durable for veterans who fought within the Vietnam Warfare and Korea to vote in the event that they’re seniors. It makes it more durable to get an absentee poll.”
Whereas attorneys battle over the destiny of SB1 in courtroom, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat from Houston, vowed to proceed the struggle within the Nation’s Capital.
“This can be a actually horrific invoice,” mentioned Rep. Garcia, following an unrelated press convention in north Houston. “We’re gonna do the whole lot we will in Congress to proceed to work towards passing HR 1 and HR 4, the John Lewis Act and the For the Individuals Act.”
Beneath are the highlights of what the legislation will do:
Bans drive-thru voting & 24-hour voting
The invoice bans drive-thru voting, which was first utilized in Harris County through the pandemic, then rolled out by different counties. It additionally bans 24-hour voting, one other measure utilized in Harris County, and units very particular hours for early voting.
Units new hours for early voting
Early voters can have entry to the polls from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The brand new laws additionally requires counties with a inhabitants of 55,000 or better to supply at the least 12 hours of early voting every day through the second week of early voting. That’s for state elections.
For native elections, the invoice will increase required early voting hours from 8 to 9 every day.
Creates prison penalty for some mail-in poll purposes
Native elections officers can now face felony costs in the event that they ship unsolicited mail-in poll purposes to voters. It’s nonetheless OK for political events to take action, although.
Provides ID necessities for mail-in voting
Those that do need to vote-by-mail should now present their driver’s license quantity or the final 4 digits of their Social Safety quantity once they’re making use of for a mail-in poll and once they ship it again in.
Creates new paperwork & expands oath for voter help
Anybody who’s serving to somebody fill out their poll will now have to finish paperwork documenting their relationship to the voter.
The legislation additionally modified language within the oath assistants take. It now prevents them from answering questions. As a substitute, assistants are restricted to “studying the poll to the voter, directing the voter to learn the poll, marking the voter’s poll, or directing the voter to mark the poll.” Stepping exterior these pointers might result in a perjury cost.
Units new guidelines for ballot watchers
Partisan ballot watchers should have coaching. They will also be kicked out in the event that they violate the state Penal Code.
However the legislation additionally offers them “free motion inside a polling place,” simply not at a voting station the place a voter is actively filling out his or her poll.
It’s additionally unlawful to impede a ballot watcher’s view “in a way that will make remark not moderately efficient.”
Checks voter eligibility month-to-month
Every month, the Texas Secretary of State’s Workplace is required to run its voter registration record in opposition to DPS’s database to take away anybody who just isn’t a U.S. citizen.