WASHINGTON – Last month, Governor Abbott designated “election integrity” an emergency item, allowing the legislature to prioritize bills within that topic. After weeks of vague reports of an omnibus bill being in the works – Senate Bill 7 was introduced late last night.
At first glance, some of the most highly problematic provisions of SB7 include:
- Expansion of prosecutorial powers for the Attorney General over voter registration violations, whether intentional violations or accidental
- Prohibits counties from proactively sending vote by mail applications
- Prohibits counties from operating early voting poll sites later than 7pm
- Mandates anyone who wants to vote by mail because they are disabled to provide specific documentation
- Provides that any person in the car with a voter who is voting curbside shall officially be deemed an assistant under law who must sign the form documenting they providing assistance
A study last year showed it is already harder to vote in Texas than other state.
Statement of Common Cause Texas Executive Director Anthony Gutierrez
“It’s already harder to vote in Texas than any other state and Senate Bill 7 would make it considerably harder.
Ken Paxton has shown us beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will jump at the chance to use his office for purely political purposes, like trying to overturn the results of a presidential election. Giving him expanded powers to prosecute voter registration mistakes is a profoundly bad idea.
This bill continues a pattern we’ve been seeing throughout the pandemic of county election workers doing their best to find ways to let Texans vote safely and securely, and the state doing everything it can to stop them.
This bill clearly has one and only one purpose and that is to help the politicians in charge stay in power.
The real problem that needs to be addressed in Texas in too few people participating in our democratic system. We should be doing things like implementing online voter registration, improving civics education, and investing in our election infrastructure.
Senate Bill 7 and this whole ‘election integrity’ narrative is nothing more than an attempt to make voting even harder in Texas.”
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