Texas State Senators Royce West (SD 23 – Dallas), José Menéndez (SD 26 – San Antonio), Beverly Powell (SD 10 – Burleson), Sarah Eckhardt (SD 14 – Austin), and Roland Gutierrez (SD 19 – San Antonio) – all Democrats who represent districts with large minority populations and who are the candidate of choice of minority voters – moved to slow consideration of omnibus voter suppression legislation, Senate Bill 7, written and supported by Texas Republicans and backed by Governor Greg Abbott.
The move forced Republican leaders to cancel a hearing set on the bill. While it is clear that Abbott and the Republican legislators are intent on imposing the discriminatory vote suppression bill, the delay will give minority voters, their advocates, and other Texans additional time to expose the legislation for what it is – an updated Jim Crow law that serves no purpose other than to erect new barriers to undermine the voting strength of Black, Latino, and other minority Texans.
“These senators understand that Governor Abbott and the Republican legislators have embraced a cheat-to-win strategy with discriminatory vote suppression as its main feature.” said Lone Star Project Director, Matt Angle. “As minority voters have become a stronger voting force within Texas, Republicans have doubled down on their decades-long strategy of holding power by denying minority Texans their basic voting rights” Angle continued.
All Texans should remain laser-focused on stopping the blatant anti-democratic maneuvering by Texas Republicans. Their legislation will do nothing except make it harder for people to vote in the name of maintaining their racially gerrymandered stranglehold on power in Texas.
There have been many bills filed this Texas legislative session designed to suppress minority voting rights. Some of the voter suppression measures include:
- Limiting and discouraging early voting
- Banning Drive-Thru voting
- Implementing a hidden poll tax tied to voting-by-mail
- Setting arbitrary limits on voting machines to decrease access
- Voter and election worker intimidation tactics like draconian penalties for de minimis errors
- Empowering partisan poll watchers to intimidate voters
- Penalizing assistance to voters
- Making vote-by-mail harder and less efficient