AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick held a news conference to discuss proposed voting restrictions legislation that was recently passed by the Texas Senate. The Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 7, or the Election & Ballot Security bill, last week and it will move on to the House.
SB-7 would limit extended early voting hours, prohibit drive-through voting. The original bill draft would have also required proof of disability to qualify for mail-in voting, however, that provision was later removed. SB 7 would also increase access for partisan poll watchers, including allowing them to shoot video of the ballot counting process.
Similar elections overhaul legislation is being discussed and or passed in other states and has faced similar backlash. Major League Baseball made the decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta over Georgia's recent controversial voter law and it's sparking calls for other organizations to do the same.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a statement concerning SB-7 and House Bill 6 saying:
"Restricting access to voting is wrong. Voting and participating in local, state, and federal elections is the fundamental right of every American eligible to vote. Limiting our ability to increase voter participation and ballot access is undemocratic and yet another unwelcome intrusion into local affairs. HB 6 and SB 7 are another effort by Governor Abbott and state lawmakers to preempt cities and counties’ ability to decide what is best for their community when it comes to elections and access to them. State lawmakers should be celebrating and learning from cities that increase voter turnout, rather than threatening them and trying to change them."