Beto O’Rourke speaks out against GOP-backed Texas ballot bill
DALLAS – Former United States Representative Beto O’Rourke said Democrats need to do more to get more voters registered at the polls.
He made the comments during a fan rally in Waxahachie on Wednesday and in an interview with FOX4’s GoodDay.
The former congressman and former candidate for the US Senate and President is focusing his attention on voting rights and postponing any decision regarding his new candidacy.
O’Rourke is encouraging people to call out state lawmakers, urging them to reject the Republican-backed voting bill if it comes in a special legislative session Governor Greg Abbott might call. This bill would put limits on certain voting times, ban drive-thru voting and increase scrutiny of polls.
O’Rourke said those who care about democracy should speak out against what he calls “voter suppression.”
He makes tours across the state to register people to vote. He was in Dallas and DeSoto on Tuesday in addition to Wednesday’s stop at Waxahachie. Supporters want him to run for another job, as governor in 2022 against outgoing GOP governor Greg Abbott.
“The Texas filing deadline for offices in 2022 is December of this year, so let’s focus this summer on voting rights and democracy, and then turn our attention to winning the election in 2022,” said O’Rourke.
Despite a record turnout in major Democratic counties, there was no blue wave and in some places Republicans outperformed previous elections.
“The Democrats of 2020 didn’t do what they needed to do,” O’Rourke said. “Don’t get to where the voters are and meet them at their front door and listen to them.”
He focuses on registering new voters and says there were seven million eligible voters in Texas who stayed home last year.
SMU political science professor Matthew Wilson says outreach isn’t the problem for Democrats in the state.
“Doing more door-to-door campaigning is good and useful, but the biggest problem for Democrats in Texas is that if the left wing of the National Democratic Party carries the message, it will make it harder and harder to compete. for the average Texas voter, “Wilson. mentionned.
O’Rourke is also encouraging President Biden and the National Democrats to pass federal electoral reform law.
“We need President Biden, who has majorities in the House and Senate, to do the same in Washington DC,” O’Rourke said. “We have voter suppression. It doesn’t matter if I am the candidate or others are the candidate, we will be faced with a rigged system.”
Beto on GoodDay
On GoodDay, he said the basic act of voting should be shielded from political forces at any given time.
“Voting rights used to be a largely bipartisan issue. The 65 Voting Rights Act, whenever it has been reauthorized, Republicans and Democrats have supported it. And that’s why I hope Texans from all political parties will stand up and ask for the right to vote. A person. A voice. It was once the American value around which we could all rally. We have to come back to it, ”he said.
When asked what he learned about not winning the US Senate seat when he ran in 2018 or the presidential nomination he requested in 2020, O’Rourke said said he felt fulfilled knowing he was doing his best for Texas.
“Just being in this fight is the most rewarding thing I can do. So it doesn’t matter if I have a title or a job, whether or not I’m a candidate or running a campaign. If I can. helping others, like we did during the winter storm. We raised $ 1.4 million for our fellow Texans, connected to those without heat or electricity with the help they needed. I can help register voters and support other candidates, I’m overjoyed. I just want to do my best for Texans. So that’s what I’ll always try to do, “he said.
O’Rourke said he is traveling the state to get certified as a volunteer deputy registrar in every county so he can register people to vote.