Democratic members of the Texas legislature tucked their legs between their legs and headed for Washington D.C. in order to keep their hopes alive of turning Texas blue without the aid of the voters, goes by the board.
Now, to win Texas they need actual voters, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage. But, their little side trip did not work out for them and after the court affirmed they could be arrested, they returned.
Those votes were taken today and now the bills go to Gov Greg Abbott, who will sign them into law. Voter integrity laws have been passed in several swing states and are working their way through a couple of more.
This is being done in order to avoid a repeat of 2020, where votes mysteriously appeared in at least five swing states. There has been a forensic audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, in which auditors are hinting at massive fraud in the states.
Senate Bill 1 was lauded by Republicans as a means to better secure future elections, but was accused of being voter suppression by the Democrats.
In a way, the Democrats are right. Now that these bills will prevent certain voters from being able to cast their vote, including Elmer Fudd, Babe Ruth, and Bruce Wayne.
The Senate will have to revote on the bills that were modified slightly and then they will be sent on to Gov Abbott to be signed into law. The 2022 elections will be run under the new laws.
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The approved bill limits early voting hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. statewide, whereas before counties could offer as many hours as they chose above a set minimum. It bans outdoor and drive-thru polling places, many of which were adopted by large, urban counties amid the coronavirus pandemic, and bans public officials from offering mail-in ballot applications to people in an unsolicited way.
It also empowers partisan poll watchers, making it more difficult for election workers to remove them, though it requires them to undergo training ahead of time. It increases penalties for election-related forms that are submitted incorrectly, making many of the violations felony offenses.
Similar bills have passed in Republican-controlled states around the country, including Florida and Georgia. Congressional Democrats have attempted to counter the laws with their own bills, but they face no change of becoming law given a 50-50 Senate and the filibuster still intact.