More than a dozen Texas state legislators fled to Washington DC this Monday, July 12, escaping from a special session scheduled by the governor to address several bills including election law reform that Democrats oppose. Greg Abbott said on Fox News that as soon as they set foot back in Texas, he would arrest them to take them to the legislature to do their job.
Election reforms have been the subject of intense debate since former President Donald Trump, and several Republican senators alleged irregularities and fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
The aspects claimed by the former president and several Republican legislators include the massive mailing of ballots without the voters’ request and signature verification, the ‘collection’ of votes, a practice that allows anyone to collect votes from geriatrics or other places where people have some difficulty in going to vote and deposit them themselves in the offices or mailboxes, voter identification, which involves attaching a copy of the personal identity document.
While for Republicans, these modifications are necessary for what is known as ‘voting integrity’ for Democrats, the same means ‘voter suppression.’
For example, Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview with CBS that the electoral reforms proposed by the Republicans would hurt the rural population because apparently there, they don’t have photocopiers to make copies of their identity documents.
“Because in some people’s mind, that means, well, you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove that you are who you are. Well, there are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don’t— there’s no Kinko’s, there’s no OfficeMax near them,” Harris said.
“People have to understand that when we’re talking about voter ID laws, be clear about who you have in mind and what would be required of them to prove who they are. Of course, people have to prove who they are, but not in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to prove who they are,” the vice president added.
Similarly, Texas Democratic state legislators argued that their ‘flight’ to Washington DC was to ‘kill’ the law that will hurt young people, people of color, and those with disabilities.
Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas criticized the attitude of the Democrats whom he accused of not doing their job and using taxpayer money in the meantime.
Under Texas law other state legislators can ask to arrest their colleagues who don’t show up to vote.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” Abbott said.
The Republican governor said the Democrats who fled are ‘hypocrites’ because, among them, many have called on President Joe Biden to eliminate the filibuster—the rule that determines that for a bill to pass, it takes a two-thirds vote of Congress.
By running away from Sessions, they are using the filibuster principle to undermine the attempt to vote on Republican bills, the same one they want to eliminate when it comes to Republicans who do not support Democratic measures in the Senate that is half and half Republican and Democrat.
Due to the electoral reforms approved by the state of Georgia earlier this year, which have clauses very similar to those of Texas or those approved by DeSantis in Florida, Major League Baseball (MBL) moved its headquarters to the state of Colorado as a form of boycott.
However, Colorado also has voter ID, so the boycott ended up only hurting Georgians’ small businesses.