Texas Moves Closer to Passing a Bill That Will Ban Drive-through Voting and Restrict Early Voting Sites

Senate Bill 7 is part of a broader legislative effort by Texas Republicans this year to enact sweeping changes to elections in the state that would scale up already restrictive election rules / Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate passed a bill after 7 hours of debate with an 18-13 vote. The bill is being called a method of voter suppression by the Democrats. 

In 2020, to promote better turn-out and avoid crowded polling stations due to the pandemic, a few measures were taken to ensure that every citizen of the country could vote without fear. The bill, if signed into law, would restrict the 24-hour voting sites and ban the 10-hour drive-through sites that proved to be a popular method of voting in 2020. As the resources of the United Parcel Service (UPS) are being cut short by the government, no other method apart from physically casting ballots on voting day will remain which will cause big problems in terms of voter turnout. 

With similar bills being passed all over the country, including Georgia, it is being said that voter suppression during the era of Jim Crow is being revived and enshrined. These bills would mainly affect the people of color as it is seen that they opt for these methods to cast their votes.

Civil Rights groups and voting rights advocates believe that these bills are the result of former president Donald Trump’s constant criticism and condemnation of these methods. His persistent claim that the election was stolen from him with the help of these methods has fueled a lot of Republican lawmakers to suppress voters. These lawmakers are referring to “voter confidence” and “election integrity” to defend these bills even though it has been proven that none of the voting methods were a fraud. The Justice Department of the former president’s tried to negate the votes of millions of Americans by filing lawsuits of fraud. His campaign did not however find a single proof of such voter fraud and over 60 lawsuits were dismissed, withdrawn, or dropped. The Republican lawmakers including the governor insist that there’s some form of cheating going on in the election through mail-in ballots but they are unable to provide any evidence when asked.

The Democrats of Texas have ensured that they won’t be silent and complacent about these injustices. They will not accept this legislation without a fight and do everything in their power to stop the bill from being signed into law. They said that they would go as far as the court to stop this legislation from being enforced.

After being passed by the Senate, the bill is now moving to the Texas House where it has the support of the governor.

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