“If you think you win today,” Senfronia Thompson, a longtime Democrat from Houston, told her Republican counterparts on Friday, “then you will reap what you sow.”
The Republicans’ response, in essence, was that it was not their job to get more people to vote.
During Thursday’s debate, State Representative Andrew Murr, a Republican from rural Kerrville, applied the Texas Republican’s mantra of personal responsibility 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 capture all voters.”
Several late amendments to the bill addressed the integrity of voting and counting systems, a result of former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud last year. Some passed, e.g. For example, the requirement that large Texas counties provide live streaming video from constituencies. Others did not, such as a Republican amendment to conduct a “forensic review” of the 2020 Texas election.
One of the final amendments on Thursday aimed to avoid prosecution of those previously incarcerated for elections – people like Crystal Mason and Hervis Rogers – by instructing judges to tell those convicted of crimes that they are not eligible to vote.
In addition to voting on Friday’s electoral law, the House of Representatives is also considering a number of Republican priorities that have made 2021 one of the most conservative legislatures in Texas history, including increasing funding for a border wall and a “censorship” law Social media platforms.
Friday’s House of Representatives vote most likely signaled the end of the drama that began in late May when, in the final hours of the regular session of the Texas Legislature, Members of the Democratic House fled the Chamber to prevent Republicans from passing a similar bill .
An angry Mr Abbott convened a special session in early July urging lawmakers to consider a voting proposal together with proposals channeling more money towards border security, restricting transgender youth participation in inter-school athletics, and restricting access to abortion, among other conservative priorities. More than 50 Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by their progressive wing, organized two charter flights from Austin to Washington, where they were first welcomed by the Democrats in Congress as heroes in their joint struggle to pass a new federal electoral protection.