AUSTIN (KXAN) — Statewide organizations teamed up to rally at the Texas Capitol Saturday against changes to voting rules that they say would limit people’s ability to cast their vote.
Among them were former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.
Protesters showed up to voice their concerns with the legislation, which would add protections for partisan poll watchers, restrict the distribution of vote by mail applications and require anyone who helps a voter fill out a form explaining the reason for assistance.
“We don’t want them to take our rights to vote, we want to make sure that our elections are accessible,” said Jeffrey Clemmons, a student leader with Student Rising of Huston-Tillotson University.
Some at the rally argued lawmakers aren’t focusing on the real issues impacting Texans.
“This summer we have already been told that there might be more blackouts,” said Clemmons. “We’re still not done with the virus, we still have to deal with that.”
The Senate’s version of the bill differs from the House version in that it restricts early voting hours and regulates how polling places are distributed across metropolitan communities in the state. In order for the bill to advance to the Governor’s desk, the Senate needs to approve of the House’s tweaks, or the differences would be ironed out between members of both chambers.