Lawmakers of Texas will look at new election integrity legislation on Saturday, July 10, after Democrats staged a mass walkout last month.
The hearings for the new set of “election integrity” legislation SB 1 and HB 3 were proposed by the GOP senators of Texas.
On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a special session that would look at many initiations, one of which was a measure aiming for a more dignified voting process.
This was a counterpunch to the Democrats, who orchestrated a dramatic walkout last month to block a GOP-led voting restriction bill that was on the verge of passing.
The Democrats and ease of voting supporters would usually mock any “voter suppression” bill. But, according to Reuters, they argued that the legislative process was being hurried through to evade public notice.
Anthony Gutierrez, Texas director of good-government watchdog Common Cause, surmised that hearings for both the bills might happen simultaneously, making it much harder for their adversaries to challenge them.
HB 3 and SB 1 convey new identification requirements for voters who choose to vote by mail. They also seek to ban local election staff from offering a vote-by-mail application to someone who hasn’t requested one and give partisan poll watchers more power.
There will be no more drive-through voting and extended hours during early voting with the new legislation. The Republicans said these conveniences foster convenience for fraud.
The new bills do not limit Sunday early voting hours, which the May version did.
Reuters added that the Democratic senators of Texas are requesting a hearing for their counter bill, which would demand a more extended early voting period, allow online voter registration, accept mistake fixing on mail-in ballots, and have training organized by the secretary of state for poll watchers.
“Let me assure you, we’ll do everything in our power to get a hearing on this bill,” said Sen. Royce West (D-Tex.), though he did not believe his colleagues from the opposite party would accept the request.