WACO, Texas – A special session called by Governor Greg Abbott has lawmakers discussing items that will affect Texans – such as border security, bail reform, and family violence protection.
Gov. Abbott called the special session, which started on June 8, to discuss bills left unfinished in the regular session.
Local lawmakers say the 11 agenda items are equally important to better Texas, and there is one goal which is important to them all.
“Make it easier to vote, and more difficult to cheat,” says State Representative “Doc” Anderson.
Anderson says they are working on standardizing the voting procedures across the states of Texas, so the requirements are the same for everyone regardless of location and ethnicity. He says the voting hours and days will be extended.
In addition, the equipment used for counting the votes will be improved to ensure voter integrity and security.
“It would also require cameras in all the voting precincts where you have the counting folks, both for early voting or for signature verification, or for actual vote counting,” Anderson said.
Anderson says by 2026 they want to have a paper trail with all the voting so people can see how the decisions are being made.
When the voting issue came up in the regular session, Democratic lawmakers walked out – making a vote on the bill impossible.
“It was a highly unusual process, and we hope that won’t happen again. And that we can actually get these issues taken care of,” Anderson said.
State Senator Dawn Buckingham says the walk out was a tactic used because they did not like how things were going.
“[For] Both sides, everyone has a legitimate interest in being sure that our elections are fair and valid,” Buckingham said. “My hope is that we come together and get the job done. And Texas can feel even more secure that they have a good and valid election.”
Buckingham says they also want people with intentions to disrupt an election to be held accountable.
“You want to be able to rely on the elections, and be sure that they are an expression of what people want in their leadership,” Buckingham said. “That’s why we want to be sure if you are an eligible voter, we want to give you every possibility to vote.”
The special session lasts for 30 days, and Gov. Abbott can call another one if needed.