The Democrats in House of Representatives in Texas boycotted the meeting on Sunday (31/5), thus preventing the passage of a bill that provides for reforms in the electoral process and which, according to his critics, will make it difficult for African-Americans and Hispanics to vote.
The bill, as broadcast by the Athens News Agency, citing local media, is almost certain to be passed by the House, where the Republicans have a majority.
For his part, his governor Texas Greg Abbott, an ardent supporter of the bill, said in an e-mail late yesterday that it would be added to a special meeting scheduled for the autumn.
Supporters of the bill say it strengthens the security of the electoral process. The second most populous US state already has one of the most restrictive electoral laws in the country.
The bill provides for changes, which, as it states, “are not intended to impede the right to free voting“, But are necessary” to prevent fraud in the electoral process “.
“The bill makes disproportionately difficult for colored voters,” say Democrats
But Democrats and civil rights groups say the law disproportionately makes it difficult for colored voters, as well as the elderly and people with disabilities.
In the previous ones presidential elections there were no substantiated allegations of fraud, with Republicans retaining most government positions in the state.
But Republican lawmakers across the United States are pushing for tougher voting restrictions after former President Donald Trump falsely claimed he lost the 2020 election due to widespread fraud.
So far, 14 states in the US have passed 22 bills that complicate the election process this year, according to a report released Friday by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Cancel innovations adopted in the November elections
The Texas bill will repeal innovative methods adopted in the November election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Voting in drive-through polling stations, thanks to which a record number of voters participated in the presidential election in Houston, will no longer be allowed. The bill also restricts early voting, makes letter voting more difficult, and abolishes formal ballot boxes in which citizens could cast their ballots without going to the polls.
The bill also bans ballots before 1pm on Sundays, with critics denouncing it targeting African-Americans, as many churches where African-Americans traditionally attend after morning services drive large convoys to polling stations to cast their ballots. .
The bill will also make it easier for courts to annul election results in the event of a complaint of fraud.
US President Joe Biden in a statement on Saturday (29/5) complained that the bill in Texas “puts against the sacred right to vote.”
Earlier in May, dozens of companies, including American Airlines, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft, urged lawmakers to reject any bill that restricts citizens’ right to vote.
African-American lawmakers from Texas and civil rights groups have complained that the bill is reminiscent of the late 190s to the 1960s, when a number of laws known as the Jim Crowe Act were enacted to formally segregate racial segregation in the United States. .
Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama and former mayor of San Antonio, said in a Democratic Party press conference that Republicans fear that the demographic landscape in Texas will change. and are afraid of the consequences. “
Later this year, it is estimated that Hispanics in Texas will make up the majority of the state’s population.