AUSTIN, Texas - The fight is heating up over a sweeping election package that Republicans are pushing through the Texas Legislature. On Thursday, several local groups will protest what they call voter suppression, while the GOP maintains that it's a way to make sure our elections are secure.
They will be expressing their strong opposition to SB7 and HB6, known as the Election Integrity Act, which they say is the most atrocious attack on voting rights Texas has ever seen--some calling it Jim Crow-era suppression that will disproportionately affect people of color.
Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, say the bill is designed to prevent voter fraud and keep elections fair. It would limit extended early voting hours, prohibit drive-through voting, and require proof of disability to qualify for mail-in voting. It would also increase access for partisan poll watchers, including allowing them to shoot video of the ballot counting process.
The groups protesting Thursday are calling on churches, local leaders, residents, and businesses to join the fight to stop the legislation. In fact, some companies, including Ft. Worth-based American Airlines and Round Rock-based Dell have already voiced their opposition.
As it happens, the House Elections Committee will be discussing a number of election-related bills Thursday, including ones having to do with early voting, poll watching, and voter registration.