Voter rights have been a popular topic of discussion since campaigning for the 2020 presidential elections began. The topic never lost steam, prompting lawmakers to introduce new legislation.
Texas Voting Bills
Currently, Texas is a hotbed of contention for voter laws. While one side claims that the new laws promote voter suppression, the other defends the proposed bills saying they strengthen current laws.
SB 1, introduced by a handful of Republican Senators, aims to bolster election "integrity and security." The bill holds a particular focus on reducing voter fraud.
HB 3 and SB 1 want to ban drive-thru voting and introduce extended morning hours of voting while disallowing 24-hour voting. The bills also restrict mail-in voting, making it a crime to send a ballot to someone who never requested a mail-in ballot.
Finally, the bills introduce additional ID requirements for those who are voting by mail. Driver's license numbers must be written on applications for a mail-in ballot, and if they do not have one, they write the last four digits of their social security number.
Impeding Legislative Process
In order to derail the legislative process and prevent the Republican-controlled legislature from reaching a quorum, 58 Democrat Texas lawmakers loaded up onto private planes, shirked their responsibilities, and flew to Virginia.
Since they do not have a quorum, the GOP cannot pass any legislation. The Democrats bragged about their move to news media outlets and on their social media accounts, attracting the attention of many.
“Minutes ago, at least 57 letters were delivered to the House general clerk directing the House to lock our voting machines and not unlock them until we provide expressed permission to do so upon our return to the Capitol.”Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner to WPVI
The move also garnered praise from Vice President Kamala Harris, who met with the legislators in Virginia. They hope to push Biden and Congress into new federal voting laws.
Abbot Won't Have It
Governor Greg Abbot is not impressed by the lawmaker's stunt. He pointed out that the Texas House Speaker has the authority to call for their arrest. He also made sure to mention that this little jaunt is tax-payer funded.
He went as far as to say they "will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done."
The lawmakers do not seem to care. They fully plan on staying out until the bill dies.