Republican election bill approved after a split Texas Senate debate all night in a 6 am vote

Austin-Texas Senate, Voting According to Political Party Policy, Approved Republican general election bill After a lively overnight debate led by the Democratic Party, which began seven and a half hours ago, after 6 am on Sunday.

Senate Bill 7, known as the Election Integrity Protection Act, must be approved by the Texas House of Representatives by midnight Sunday. The bill is eligible to vote at 4:50 pm, according to the House calendar.

Democratic Party Criticized the restrictions on the billThe ban on 24-hour voting and drive-through voting, which was popular with non-white voters last year, especially in Harris County, is due to imbalances in voters.

“I represent an African-American constituency, but I’ve benefited from the drive-through voting you’re trying to ban now. You feel like you’re in my district. “Senator Boris Miles of D-Houston added. Leaders from the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Texas Secretary of State have confirmed that the 2020 elections are safe and secure, and that fraud is not widespread.

Senator Sarah Eckhardt of D-Austin said SB 7 was an overreaction.

“We do very little fraud. This is documented at the federal and state levels, but instead you are rewriting the election law,” she said.

Look at the invoice. Republicans announce final version of Texas election bill with more restrictions

Texas Capitol at night

Texas Capitol at night

SB 7 is a national to narrow voting opportunities, especially in urban counties where Republicans tend to vote for Democrats after agreeing with former President Donald Trump’s claim that last year’s presidential elections were stolen. It’s one of several GOP efforts in the state legislature. No widespread fraud has been revealed.

However, Senator Brian Hughes (R-Mineola) defended his bill when Saturday was Sunday and was still deliberating the bill as sunrise approached. The bill was aimed at non-white voters. Denied the claim that it was, or was a solution to look for the problem.

“The rules apply equally to the entire state. They are not limited to a particular group or region,” he said.

Senator Royce West of D-Dallas opposes the rule to close the vote until 1:00 pm on the last Sunday of the early ballot, and the “Souls to the Polls” event is popular in black churches, with members going to worship in the morning. And said he was going after that. Go to vote.

“Election officials also want to go to church,” Hughes said, adding that he didn’t know the origin of the change in working hours on Sunday because it was from the House of Representatives.

“Don’t you think it’s such dishonesty?” West replied. “The maximum number of people voting on Sunday is African-American.”

Hurry up the discussion

The Senate and the House of Representatives passed significantly different versions of SB 7, and the congressional committee resolved the differences.

The final version of the Commission’s bill was submitted and distributed to Senators on Saturday at 3:36 pm. Less than three hours later, Hughes stood in the Senate and proposed to abandon the rule, which requires a 24-hour grace period before the bill is deliberated in the Senate.

Democrats, who had been secretly gathering to discuss options just minutes ago, opposed the speed of the event.

More: After the House road blockage, Republican Senators reinstate legislation limiting school debate on racial and social issues

“Before you’re asked to vote on a bill that affects all Texas voters, take the time needed to understand the changes and understand this whole thing,” said Senator D-Burleson. ..

Hughes replied that he would hold a private briefing to the senator at 8 pm and would promptly inform the senator of the bill, which had increased from page 23 to page 67, at the meeting committee. He expected a long and lively debate that would not begin until after 10 pm to give him more time to study legislation.

Senator Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, said the second half of the debate would occur when most Texas people didn’t see it directly or online.

“How did you decide that 10 pm was the right time tonight? Do you think it’s the best time to make very important policy decisions after 10 pm?” He said. “Tomorrow we have a whole day to discuss legislative measures, right?”

But Hughes points out that all Congressional reports are nearing a deadline to vote by midnight on Sunday, with Republicans to withdraw the 24-hour delay. Voted as a block.

Higher invoice

The Senate returned to SB 7 after 10:30 pm and adopted a resolution allowing the Council Committee to include provisions that were not part of the bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Many of the sections added to SB 7 were taken from other Republican election bills that passed the Senate or were considered by the committee, according to Hughes, who co-chaired the conference committee. Other ideas emerged during negotiations with his Co-Chair. Chair, Rep. Brisco Kane of R-Deer Park.

Senator Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) said the resolution was an insult to the legislative process.

“It seems that you’re trying to incorporate a bill that you can’t pass, or that many members of this chamber are thinking of alternative ways to do what you don’t want them to do,” Johnson said.

After a majority of Republicans voted in favor Senate Resolution 547, Senator began discussions on SB 7 on Sunday at 12:30 am.

SB 7 creates at least 10 new or enhanced criminal penalties related to elections. This includes new ballot harvesting crimes against candidates or those paid to aggregate ballots for the cause, and crimes related to electoral workers who refuse to vote on the appropriate ballots or reasons. Count more and more invalid ones.

The bill also criminalizes the refusal of designated observers by electoral authorities, and by preventing observers from being rejected, partisan polls that monitor polling stations and voting centers on behalf of candidates and political parties. Observe “free movement” trying to protect the polling observer.

Hughes called the watcher “the eyes and ears of the masses,” but said the Democratic Party has been used to intimidate voters, especially those.

Midnight pattern

Partisan disagreements have led lawmakers into several late-night and early-morning sessions in the past few weeks as Republicans aggressively imposed conservative agendas in this session.

Intense debate over SB 7 caused the Texas House of Representatives to stagnate this weekend’s showdown beyond 3:00 am on May 7.

And in a dispute over House Bill 3979, the Senate passed a bill at 2:00 am on May 22 that limits the way public school teachers discuss race and racism in the classroom.

The bill was jeopardized as the Senate made a major change to the chamber and the Democratic Party of the House succeeded in claiming that some amendments violated House rules.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick allowed Hughes to move withdrawal, as he did not have time to amend the bill by traditional means. This is a little-known parliamentary ploy, stripping the bill of all Senate changes and passing HB 3979 in its original House form. In-party voting.

Democratic opposition that the Texas Constitution does not allow the bill to pass later in Congress has been dismissed.

The session ends on Monday, but lawmakers are still on a priority bill that includes modifying Texas’ power grid after millions of Texas people have fallen into the cold and darkness in the February winter storm. I don’t agree. = =

This article was originally published in Austin American-Statesman. Texas Senate Approves Republican Election Bill by Voting at 6 AM