Lawmakers say they’re approaching a controversial Texas voting regulation bill

Bill authors and Senate sponsors, who have been criticized for restricting access to votes, say they have reached a compromise, but the details of the agreement are unknown and some say it was announced early. I will.

“SB 7 is one of the most comprehensive and wise election reform bills in Texas history,” said Senator R-Tyler and Senator Briscoe Cain in a joint statement: It states in. “There is nothing more fundamental to this democracy and our nation than the integrity of our elections.”

Some Democrats on the committee tasked with making the compromise disagree with the idea that an agreement has been reached. At least they are in attendance. Kane and Hughes are also members of Tarant County, Beverly. -A member of the committee, including Senator Powell and Nicole Collier. Later, it became clear that the contract could have been announced prematurely.

“I’ve heard the news that the Senate Bill 7 agreement has been reached. As a member of this conference committee, no details have been provided on this bill,” Powell of D-Burleson said in a tweet. “Once I receive a copy, my team and I will consider this bill to ensure that African Americans, Hispanics, Texas people with disabilities, veterans, and all Texas people have voting rights. start.”

“I’m on the conference committee, but this isn’t true,” Edinburg Rep. Terry Canales said on Twitter hours before the announcement. The contract has been concluded.

“Your source is wrong because it’s related to Democratic Caucus, MALC, and TBC,” he said.

Later that night he shared that the deal was announced early.

“Update: The announcement that there was an agreement was premature and we were informed that we would soon receive a formal draft,” he tweeted.

Hughes and Cain’s statements did not reveal the details of the compromise.

On May 19, the Senate refused to accept the House’s changes to the controversial bill, and a meeting committee was formed to devise a compromise. Senators Democrats, Burleson, Beverly Powell, and Fortworth Nicole Collier of Tarrant County were elected and served on a five-member committee from each House.

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives, prohibits election officials from submitting applications to vote by mail to those who have not requested voting, and when election judges can remove voting guards from polling stations. The bill includes a Senate version of measures that allow partisan voting observers to record videos at polling stations, a 6 am-9pm voting time limit, and a ban on drive-through voting. Was not included.

The Senate version also sets up a county formula with a population of over one million to determine the number of polling stations in the Texas House of Representatives constituency. The bill applies to five counties: Harris, Dallas, Bexer, Talent, and Travis. Collin County is expected to have a population of over one million, according to an official census.

According to an analysis by the Texas Tribune Polling place reductions are seen in four of the 11 House districts in Tarrant County. Two of them are Republicans and two are Democrats.

However, non-profit media outlets have found that Democratic districts are more affected. The Texas Tribune reported that only two of the eight Republican-controlled districts would lose polling stations.

Senator Beverly Powell sent a letter to the Chairman of the Conference Committee on May 21 requesting that the Committee consider and represent all Texas people in their voting rights when considering the bill. ..

Powell, who said he was the only senator on a committee representing minority-dominated constituencies, said the bill was “seriously flawed” and would reduce turnout if passed. Said.

“What we can do for African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and voters with disabilities throughout Texas respects the agreement made in the House of Representatives and highlights the most vicious elements of the first bill submitted. It is to maintain the easing changes in the House of Representatives. “

Many changes have been made in the House of Representatives to make the bill more favorable to the Democratic Party. It also included an amendment that clarified that law enforcement agencies could be requested to dismiss voting observers if the polling place presiding judge disturbed peace.

Other notable changes require mitigation of penalties for some violations outlined in the bill, including the “harvest of votes,” and disclosure of how voters’supporters assisted voters. Includes wording deletion.

Powell told Star Telegram on Tuesday that she had not participated in the formal negotiations as of Friday evening, unaware that a formal meeting had been held to negotiate the bill.

“I am very pleased to have been nominated for the meeting committee, and I look forward to participating in the process so that I can continue to fight for equal access to the ballot boxes,” Powell said. Stated.

Hughes said in a statement issued by his office on Tuesday that he hoped to have a version of the bill agreed by the weekend, “to negotiate such a comprehensive bill. Takes time. “

The statement states, “I was encouraged to make progress with my colleagues in the House of Representatives.” “Both Houses of Parliament are working on safe, secure and accessible elections.”

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