Texas Lawmakers Advance Voting Restrictions Bill

Texas became one step closer to getting a voting restrictions bill signed into law after the Republican-led House passed the legislation overnight.

The Lone Star State’s push for the election overhaul comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a controversial voting restrictions bill on Thursday (May 6). 

In the Texas bill, which passed in a 81-64 vote along party lines, Democrats were able to negotiate some terms they argued would disproportionately impact voters of color. 

Among those changes were lowering criminal penalties laid out in the bill and additional clarity about the criminal liability of poll workers who make genuine mistakes. NBC News reported that under the bill’s amendments, disruptive poll watchers could be removed from a voting site. 

Democratic lawmakers argued that the bill, even with the amendments, would still impact voters of color more than other groups. Republican lawmakers, citing repeated baseless claims of election fraud, said the legislation helps improve the state’s election integrity. 

Before the bill is signed into law the House version and Senate version will be voted on in conference so lawmakers can examine the difference between the two versions and put a final draft on Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. 

Some reports predict the bill could be signed quickly by the governor, given his prior pushes for legislation to be passed. 

Hundreds of similar bills are making their way through state legislative bodies around the country. Georgia signed its voting restriction bill back in March, with voting rights advocacy groups and even President Joe Biden calling the legislation “modern day Jim Crow.”

Photo: Getty Images 

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