“If you think you win today,” longtime Houston Democrat Senfronia Thompson told her Republican colleagues on Friday, “you will reap what you sow.”
The Republicans’ response was, in essence, that it wasn’t their job to get more people to vote.
During Thursday’s debate, State Representative Andrew Murr, a Republican from rural Kerrville, applied the Texas Republicans’ personal responsibility mantra to the vote. “I’m not sure the state’s goal is to actively seek voters,” he said. “The state is not so proactive that it tries to grab all the voters. “
Several late amendments to the bill dealt with the integrity of the voting and ballot counting systems, a consequence of former President Donald J. Trump’s false allegations of widespread fraud in last year’s election. . Some have been adopted, such as the requirement that large counties in Texas provide live video of the ballot counting areas. Others haven’t, such as a Republican amendment to perform a “forensic audit” of the 2020 Texas election.
One of Thursday’s latest amendments was aimed at avoiding criminal prosecution of people formerly incarcerated for voting – people like Crystal Mason and Hervis Rogers – by asking judges to tell those convicted of crimes that they are not eligible to vote.
In addition to voting on the Elections Bill on Friday, the House is also considering a number of Republican priorities that have made 2021 one of the most conservative legislative sessions in Texas history, including increasing the funding for the construction of a border wall and a bill on “censorship” by social media platforms.
The House vote on Friday likely marked the end of the drama that began in late May when, in the closing hours of the regular session of the Texas Legislature, members of the Democratic House fled the chamber to prevent Republicans to pass a similar bill.
Angry, Mr Abbott called a special session in early July, urging lawmakers to consider a bill as well as proposals to spend more money on border security, restrict the participation of transgender youth in interschool sports and to limit access to abortion, among other conservatives. priorities. More than 50 House Democrats, led by their Progressive wing, staged two charter flights from Austin to Washington, where they were first greeted as heroes by Congressional Democrats in their joint struggle to enact new protections federal election.