The Texas governor signed into law an election reform bill on Tuesday (Sept. 7), a measure that Democrats have opposed for months. Republicans like the governor and other conservatives in Texas claim that Senate Bill 1 will increase early voting hours and improve access to polling places. In contrast, Democrats contend that the new law – which limits late-night voting, outlaws 24-hour polling places, and amends mail-in voting discriminates against minorities.
The Associated Press reports that the law is being challenged in at least three federal lawsuits, including one filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which includes a claim against the law.
“When this bill survives the courts, I am confident that it will be upheld because exactly what we argued, this law will make voting easier for many people. “No one who is qualified to vote will be denied that chance,” Abbott said on Tuesday. “… It has made it easier for any citizen to cast a ballot than ever before. It also ensures it’s harder for voters to cheat at the polls than ever before.”
Senator Bill 1 will reportedly have a major impact on Harris County, which was offering drive-thru voting facilities and 24-hour polling places last year. Both are now prohibited under the new legislation. As part of the law, counties are prohibited from sending unadvertised mail-in voting applications, partisan poll watchers are given greater protections, and voters with disabilities who assist others in casting their votes are subject to new rules.
Senator Bill 1 will reportedly have a major impact on Harris County, which was offering drive-thru voting facilities and 24-hour polling places last year. Both are now prohibited under the new legislation. Additionally, the law prevents counties from sending unsolicited mail-in voting applications to voters, strengthens protections for partisan poll watchers, and places limitations on persons who assist voters, such as those with disabilities.
Black voters are being suppressed today. So many people have been deprived of democracy by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s actions. Derrick Johnson, NAACP president, told the media “We are disgusted.”
A new voting requirement has been enacted in Texas as one of 18 since the 2020 presidential election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
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