AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Legislative Black Caucus and Texas National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are hosting a joint press conference at 4 p.m. Friday to break down why they think GOP-backed election integrity bills will hurt Black voters.
The groups say the bills will disproportionately impact African-Americans and other minorities, and that Black Texans are “facing a return to Jim Crow.”
This topic was added to the special session after Texas Democrats walked out of a vote for Senate Bill 7 and broke quorum, preventing the bill from passing the Senate before the session’s deadline. Now, as one of the priority items in the current special session, it’s labeled as Senate Bill 1. There’s a companion bill in the House.
The bill could make the following changes to current Texas election laws:
- Ban mail-in ballot drop boxes
- Ban most drive-thru voting
- Limit extended early voting hours
- Require voters with disabilities to prove they can’t get to polls in order to get mail-in ballots
- Allow partisan poll watchers to record voters who receive help filling out their ballots
- Forbid local election officials from encouraging voters to fill out applications to vote by mail — even if they qualify
Republican advocates of the bill say it would restore trust in the voting process.
We will live stream the press conference in this story and on Facebook.