AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas House Democrats continue to fight the GOP-backed elections bill by breaking quorum, and remaining in Washington, D.C. On Monday, members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus reiterated their fight for voters of color in Texas from our nation’s capital.
“We are continuing to be here to seek federal intervention for federal voting rights legislation,” State Rep. Nicole Collier (D – Fort Worth) said from D.C. Monday morning.
At the same time, the Republican National Committee is running an ad on Texas television stations that says the Democrats’ claim of disenfranchisement is misinformed.
“I use my ID to drive, fly, even pick up tickets to a ballgame. It proves I am who I say I am. But Democrats say Black folks like me, don’t know how to get one of these,” the main character in the commercial, Melvin Everson, says during the ad. “The truth is they think this stops them from winning the election. That’s what Democrats really care about.”
But Texas Democrats point out that particular point is not included in the Texas voting bill.
“Voter ID is not even in the current elections bill that’s being proposed in Texas. what they’re trying to do is, is make it harder for people in urban counties across Texas to vote,” former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke said Monday.
“They’re banning drive-thru [voting], they’re limiting voting hours,” a speaker at TLBC’s event Monday morning said.
The bill would also ban 24-hour voting, which was put in place in Harris County during the pandemic in 2020.
“It was a majority Black and brown voting population that exercise their right in drive-thru voting or 24-hour voting,” O’Rourke explained.
But RNC National Spokesperson Paris Dennard said returning to pre-COVID voting rules does not equal disenfranchisement.
“For hundreds of years, people have been able to vote without having these special things that were put in place because of COVID-19,” Dennard said.
Republicans also argue the Texas elections bill expands voting hours in some other counties.
Democrats have vowed to stay in D.C. through the end of this special session, but the governor said he will keep calling special sessions until this elections bill is passed.