Texas lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill restricting access to voting, the latest of several similar measures in the U.S.
U.S. President Joe Biden has denounced a bill in the state of Texas that would restrict voting rights, saying the measure “is part of an assault on democracy” and would disproportionately harm people. colored.
In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Biden said Texas lawmakers introduced a bill “that unites Georgia and Florida to advance a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote.”
“It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen too often this year, and often disproportionately targets black and brown Americans. It is wrong and anti-American. In the 21st century, we should make it easier for all eligible voters to vote, no more difficult, ”he said.
Texas’ sweeping bill, known as the Senate Bill 7, would eliminate automatic voting, empower poll supporters and limit voting on Sundays, when many black religious go to the polls, among others. restrictions.
The changes should be approved before midnight on Sunday, when the state-controlled Republican legislature concludes its session.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will sign the measure, which Democrats have said will challenge the courts.
The proposal is one of them various laws presented by Republicans across the U.S. after the 2020 presidential election that would restrict access to voting, and that critics have said they intend to make it harder for blacks and other people of color to vote.
Florida, Georgia and Arizona have also approved new voting restrictions in recent months.
Georgia Law, passed in March, imposes stricter identification requirements, limits dropout boxes, gives lawmakers the power to take over local elections, and shortens the early voting period for all by-elections. It also makes it a no-brainer for people to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.
This measure provoked a swift reproach of civil rights defenders and business leaders, as well as Biden, who described as “Jim Crow of the 21st Century,” referring to the segregation laws that were formerly used to suppress the vote of African Americans.
New York University’s Brennan Justice Center, which monitors voting legislation nationwide, said at least 14 states across the country had enacted 22 laws restricting access to voting between January 1 and May 14 this year, while dozens more worked through state legislatures.
The increase in attempts to curb access to the vote is related to repeated false claims by former President Donald Trump that robbed him of the November election and attempts to prevent the historic turnout of voters that was seen on 2020 is repeated, the Brennan Center dit on your website.
“Americans’ access to the vote is in unprecedented danger, ”he said.
Back in Texas, large corporations, including American Airlines and Dell, have warned that the bill could harm democracy and the economic climate.
But Republicans set aside their objections and in some cases criticized business leaders for expressing themselves.
Leading Republican negotiators, state Sen. Bryan Hughes and state Representative Briscoe Cain, called the bill “the most comprehensive and sensible election reform bill” in Texas history.
“While the national media downplays the importance of electoral integrity, the Texas legislature has not leaned toward headlines or the signaling of corporate virtue,” they said in a joint statement.
Texas already has some of the tightest voting restrictions in the country and is regularly cited by nonpartisan groups as a state where voting is especially difficult. It was one of the few states that did not facilitate postal voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.