However, the bill includes a provision that could make it easier to cancel elections. Earlier, Texas election law had stated that reversing election results due to allegations of fraud required proving that illegal voting had resulted in an unjustified victory. If the bill is passed, the number of fraudulent votes needed to do so should simply be equal to the winning vote differential; it would not matter to whom the fraudulent votes had been cast.
A day before the Texas bill appeared, a new report noted the extent of Republicans ’national efforts to restrict voting.
The battle for voting rights
Amid months of false claims by former President Donald J. Trump that robbed him of the 2020 election, Republican lawmakers in many states are moving forward to pass laws that make voting difficult and change the way elections are conducted, frustrating Democrats and even some elections. officials of his own party.
- A key issue: Election rules and procedures have become a central theme of American politics. The Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal-leaning law and justice institute at New York University, has 361 bills in 47 states that seek to tighten voting rules. At the same time, 843 bills have been introduced with provisions to improve access to voting.
- The basic measures: Restrictions vary by state, but may include limiting the use of ballot boxes, adding identification requirements for voters requesting absentee voting, and removing local laws that allow automatic registration for absentee voting.
- Most extreme measures: Some measures go beyond altering the way we vote, including changes to the Electoral College and judicial rules, limiting citizen-led voting initiatives, and banning private donations that provide resources to administer the elections.
- Back up: This Republican effort has led Democrats in Congress to find a way to pass federal voting laws. A comprehensive bill on voting rights passed the House in March, but faces tough hurdles in the Senate. Republicans have remained united against the proposal, and even if the bill became law, it would likely face strong legal challenges.
- Florida: Measures here include limiting the use of drop-down boxes, adding more identification requirements for absentee voting, requiring voters to request an absentee ballot for each election, limiting from whom he could collect and leave the votes and the empowerment of partisan observers during the vote-counting process.
- Texas: The next big step could happen here, where Republicans in the legislature overturn the objections of the corporate titans and move forward on a broad electoral bill that would be one of the most serious in the country. It would impose new restrictions on early voting, ban conducted voting, threaten election officials with harsher sanctions, and greatly empower pro-voting observers.
- Other states: The Arizona Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill that would limit the distribution of ballots. The bill, which includes removing voters from the state’s permanent early voting list if they don’t vote at least once every two years, may be just the first in a series of voting restrictions to be enacted there. . Republicans in Georgia in March enacted powerful new voting laws that limit ballot boxes and make the distribution of water within certain boundaries of a polling station a misdemeanor. Iowa has also imposed new limits, including reducing the early voting period and face-to-face voting hours on election day. And the bills to restrict the vote are moving through the Republican legislature in Michigan.
As of May 14, lawmakers had passed 22 new laws in 14 states to hamper the voting process, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, a research institute.
In last year’s election, while Republicans won Texas easily (Mr. Trump led the state by more than 630,000 votes and the party retained control of both houses of the legislature), turnout shoot at densely populated cities and suburbs, which are increasingly democratic. In Harris County, where Houston and one of the largest counties in the country live, participation rose nearly 10 percent.
The initial version of the Republican bill placed densely populated counties across the board, trying to ban measures taken during the 2020 election that helped turn up record numbers. The initial bill banned automatic voting, a new voting method used by 127,000 voters in Harris County, as well as 24-hour voting, which was held for a single day in the county and was used by approximately 10,000 voters. .
Although these provisions were left out of an earlier version of the bill while making way for the legislature, they were reinstated in the final version of the bill, although the bill allows for votes. advance start from 6 in the morning and until nine in the evening on weekdays. It also holds at least two days of early voting weekend.
More than any other state, Texas has also strived to grant more autonomy and authority to vigilante supporters of the polls. Observers have been the cornerstone of the American vote for years, seen as a watchdog for election officials, but its role has grown increasingly conflicted, especially in Texas. Trump urged Republican vigilantes to vote in particular, imploring them to go to the country’s major cities and hunt down non-existent election fraud.