Texas Poised To Approve Sprawling Voting Restrictions

The New York Times reports:

Texas lawmakers on Saturday finished drafting a bill that would impose a raft of new voting restrictions, setting up the likely passage of what would be among the most far-reaching laws in Republicans’ nationwide drive to overhaul elections systems and limit voting.

The bill would tighten what are already some of the country’s strictest voting laws, and it would specifically target balloting methods that were employed for the first time last year by Harris County, home to Houston.

The Washington Post reports:

The measure would make it illegal for election officials to send out unsolicited mail ballot applications, empower partisan poll watchers and ban practices such as drop boxes and drive-through voting that were popularized in heavily Democratic Harris County last year.

In a last-minute addition, language was inserted in the bill making it easier to overturn an election, no longer requiring evidence that fraud actually altered an outcome of a race — but rather only that enough ballots were illegally cast that could have made a difference.

The Texas Tribune reports:

With Texas Republicans poised to sign off on a sweeping voting bill, President Joe Biden said Saturday that legislation like Senate Bill 7 that restricts voting access is “un-American.”

“Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote, ” Biden said in a statement to The Texas Tribune.

“It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans.”