Texas Republicans aim to make voting more difficult | national
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas took a major step on Sunday to become the largest state in the country where the GOP makes it harder to vote after the 2020 election, with the Senate approving a bill that would empower poll observers, create criminal sanctions and would add new restrictions on where, when and how to vote.
Advocates say the changes would disproportionately affect minorities and people with disabilities.
The legislation still has two steps left before it becomes law in Texas: a final approval vote in the GOP-controlled House that was expected on Sunday, which would send the bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to approve.
America’s largest red state already has some of the tightest voting restrictions in the country and is regularly cited by non-partisan groups as a state where voting is particularly difficult.
It was one of the few states that did not facilitate postal voting during the coronavirus pandemic, instead sending crowds of voters to the polls to vote in person.
Senate approval of the sweeping legislation came at 6 a.m. on Sunday, hours after a final version of the 67-page bill was released from private negotiations on Saturday.
The timing leaves little time for the public to consider – or protest – the overhaul over Memorial Day weekend, and the legislative session ends with law on Monday.
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