Saturday, President Joe Biden raised alarm bells in regards to the proposed Texas legislation, bluntly calling it “un-American,” and saying it is “a part of an assault on democracy that we have seen far too usually this 12 months — and infrequently disproportionately concentrating on Black and Brown Individuals.” President Biden is 100% appropriate.
Let’s not play video games — the brand new Texas legislation is not about “voter integrity.” The 2020 election in Texas, which Trump gained by greater than 630,000 votes, “was clean and safe,” as one in every of Texas’s prime election officers testified this earlier 12 months. Even Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott admitted at a information convention in March he was unaware of any voter fraud within the 2020 election.
No, the legislation is about Texas GOP leaders freaking out after seeing that battleground states comparable to Georgia and Arizona went for Biden in 2020. Their concern of shedding energy has incited them to champion sweeping measures limiting in-person voting hours and making it tougher to vote by mail. As a sensible matter, that is extra more likely to suppress the votes of Black and brown individuals, who overwhelmingly voted Democratic final 12 months.
The proposed laws that the GOP-controlled Texas Senate rushed by means of for a vote on a vacation weekend — with out even permitting 24 hours to contemplate the revised invoice in accordance with the chamber’s guidelines — will not permit early election voting to start till 1 p.m. on a Sunday regardless of permitting it to start at 6 a.m. on weekdays. Why? It is apparent: Black, and Latino voters in Texas arrange get-out-the-vote efforts generally known as “souls to the polls” after church on Sunday mornings.
Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchía made that very level, telling CNN this new measure is designed to make it harder for individuals of colour to vote on Sundays proper after they go to church. Sen. Royce West, a Democrat from Dallas, additionally blasted the absurdity of this provision, noting this can quickly imply in Texas on Sunday, “We’re going to have the ability to purchase beer at 10 o’clock within the morning, however we will not vote till 1 o’clock.”
Then there’s the Texas GOP’s proposed ban on 24-hour and drive-thru voting that was employed within the 2020 election solely in Harris County, which Biden gained with 56% of the vote. Guess who used these two technique of voting essentially the most? An evaluation by election officers in Harris County, which incorporates Houston, discovered that Black and Latino voters solid greater than half of the votes that have been recorded each at drive-thru websites and through prolonged hours. Now you get why Sen. Borris L. Miles, a Democrat from Houston, stated individuals in his district name this GOP proposed voting legislation “Jim Crow 2.0,” asking him, “Is that this 2021 or is that this 1961?”
However the Texas measure does one thing different GOP voter suppression legal guidelines do not — no less than not but. (Do not be stunned if different GOP states comply with Texas’ lead.) The Texas Republicans apparently have a backup plan in case — regardless of all their restrictions — Democratic candidates are capable of win. They’re revising Texas legislation to make it simpler for judges to overturn the need of the individuals after the election is over.
Presently, underneath Texas legislation, the burden of proof required to make a case for voter fraud is by “clear and convincing proof.” However the GOP’s new legislation will decrease that requirement to a “preponderance of the proof,” making it extra possible a questionable case of fraud can succeed. As well as, the GOP invoice makes it simpler for a decide to declare an election void with out the necessity for proof that fraudulent votes resulted in a win.
Placing apart the legalese, election legislation professional Marc Elias summed it up this fashion on Twitter: “When mixed with the remainder of Texas legislation, this invoice will make Texas the best state during which to overturn an election by way of post-election contest.” An legal professional for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas additionally slammed the proposed measure, telling the Houston Chronicle, “That is only a perpetuation of the Large Lie, and as we have seen all through the nation, this can be a additional weakening of the institutional energy of our democracy.”
The GOP leaders know what they’re doing. These legal guidelines are supposed to assist them win — not by providing coverage proposals to assist our fellow Individuals however by making it tougher to vote for individuals who historically help Democratic candidates. It is the very purpose why 14 GOP-controlled states enacted 22 new legal guidelines between January 1 and Could 2021 that prohibit entry to the poll field, based on the Brennan Heart for Justice.
Each the Republicans’ blocking of an investigation into the January 6 riot and this case in Texas are a transparent and current hazard to our Republic — that’s, when you consider in democracy. Apparently, GOP leaders now not do.