WACO, Texas – The controversial election bill which Democratic lawmakers left the state to stop has passed the Senate – but can’t go any further until they return to Austin.
They claim the bill will lead to vote suppression – while Republicans say it will only make elections more secure.
McLennan County Republican Chair Bradford Holland says these maneuvers are distasteful, and Texas voters will know when something is not right.
“No voter likes to see the Democratic process that we have put in place abandoned and disregarded just for someone to get their way,” Holland said.
This is the second time Democrats have staged a walk out during a legislative session – making a vote on the election bill impossible.
Holland says they would have been better off staying and working through the process – like the system normally works.
“They are not supposed to leave,” Holland said. “I don’t know what their end game is on this, but people know that this is not going to work out well, and we need our laws made in the legislature not by people abandoning their post.”
The special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott started last week, and unity has been far from the agenda when it comes to the election bill.
Gov. Abbott is now threatening to arrest at least 50 democrats who took flight to Washington – denying the Republicans the quorum to conduct business.
McLennan County Democratic Chair Mary Duty says they want to preserve the right to vote to all citizens.
“All of this business about election integrity is built on the big lie that this last election was stolen. It wasn’t stolen,” Duty said. “It was hard work on the part of many people.”
Duty says the decision directly affects the citizens of McLennan County, and they are working with local leaders to make sure everyone has equal access to the ballot box.
“We don’t need to make it harder for people to vote,” Duty said. “In McLennan County, we are in the top ten places in the nation that closed voting locations in black and brown neighborhoods.”
The Texas Senate passed the Republican-led bill last Tuesday, with a party line vote of 18-4. The legislation will not be successful unless the Democrats return before the 30-day special session ends.