“If you happen to assume that you simply’re successful immediately,” State Consultant Senfronia Thompson, a long-serving Democrat from Houston, advised her Republican colleagues on Friday, “you’ll reap what you sow.”
Republicans’ response was, in essence, that it was not their job to entice extra folks to vote.
Throughout debate on Thursday, State Consultant Andrew Murr, a Republican from rural Kerrville, utilized Texas Republicans’ mantra of non-public duty to voting. “I’m unsure the aim of the state is to actively search out voters,” he mentioned. “The state is just not so proactive that it tries to seize all of the voters.”
A number of late amendments to the invoice addressed the integrity of voting and poll counting techniques, an outgrowth of former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud in final yr’s election. Some handed, like a requirement that enormous Texas counties present livestreaming video of ballot-counting areas. Others didn’t, equivalent to a Republican modification to conduct a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election in Texas.
One of many final amendments on Thursday was geared toward avoiding legal prosecutions of previously incarcerated folks for voting — folks like Crystal Mason and Hervis Rogers — by instructing judges to inform these convicted of felonies that they’re ineligible to vote.
Along with voting on the elections invoice on Friday, the Home can also be contemplating numerous Republican priorities which have made 2021 among the most conservative legislative sessions within the historical past of Texas, together with rising funding for constructing a border wall and a invoice on “censorship” by social media platforms.
The Home’s vote on Friday most certainly signaled the tip of drama that started in late Might when, within the closing hours of the Texas Legislature’s common session, Democratic Home members fled the chamber to cease Republicans from passing an identical invoice.
An irate Mr. Abbott known as a particular session to start in early July, urging legislators to consider a voting bill along with proposals to direct more cash towards border safety, prohibit transgender youths’ participation in interscholastic athletics and restrict entry to abortion, amongst different conservative priorities. Greater than 50 Home Democrats, led by their progressive wing, organized two charter flights from Austin to Washington, the place they had been initially greeted as heroes by congressional Democrats of their shared combat to enact new federal voting protections.