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Texas Dems leave House floor, blocking passage of restrictive voting bill

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Republicans’ push to enact a slew of new voting restrictions was stymied — at least for now — by Democrats who walked off the state House floor late Sunday night, leaving majority Republicans without the quorum they needed to approve the bill in the final hours before a midnight deadline.

Their move effectively killed Senate Bill 7 for this year’s legislative session. But it could soon be revived: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Sunday night that he is adding “election integrity” to a list of topics lawmakers will address in a special session he plans to call.

“Legislators will be expected to have worked out the details when they arrive at the Capitol for the special session,” Abbott said.

Democrats left the chamber at about 10:45 p.m., CT, leaving Republican Speaker Dade Phelan to concede that the House did not have the 100 members necessary for a quorum and to adjourn the House for the night.

Republicans in Texas had sought to join Florida, Georgia and other GOP-controlled states that have seized on former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and adopted new restrictions that will make it harder for some of their residents to vote.

It’s not yet clear when Abbott will call the special session. It’s also not clear whether Republicans will enter the special session set on approving SB 7 as it’s currently drafted or will seek to make further changes.

A source tells CNN that Rep. Chris Turner, the House Democratic Caucus chair, sent a text message to all of its members at 10:35 p.m., local time, that read, “Take your key and leave the chamber discretely. Do not go to the gallery. Leave the building.”

Democrats’ decision to leave the House floor and block the bill’s passage came after hours of contentious debate — including Republicans refusing to take questions from Democrats about what the bill would do.

“We used all the tools in our toolbox to fight this bill, and tonight we pulled out that last one,” said Rep. Nicole Collier, who chairs the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, during a midnight news conference at a church in East Austin. “We are no longer going to stand and let them continue to push measures that disenfranchise our voters.”

Collier compared SB 7 to poll taxes and other laws that have historically made it more difficult for Black and Latino people to vote.

“There’s no widespread voter fraud. And so for them to mislead all of Texas into believing that there’s an issue — we’re going to call them out for that,” Collier said. “We may have won the war tonight, but the battle is not over.”

Texas House Republicans said Democrats “chose to vacate their Constitutional responsibility and leave millions of Texans without resolutions on key issues,” in a tweet posted shortly after the House adjourned.

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer lambasted Abbott for failing to call special sessions in the past over Hurricane Harvey, mass shootings in the state, or the coronavirus pandemic, and said the governor’s willingness to call one to impose new voting restrictions was purely about his own political ambitions.

“We will not participate in our own demise,” Martinez Fischer said. “You may have the votes on the floor, but we’re all equal in federal court.”

Texas State Rep. Joe Moody, a Democrat, defended the move by his colleagues to CNN’s John Berman on Monday and said although Abbott has the ability to call a special session, “at a certain point you have to draw a line and we’ve got to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.”

“What’s wrong is to take away the access to the ballot box, and all of us on the Democratic side of the aisle that chose this path knew the consequences, and we were willing to risk them,” Moody said on “New Day.”

Immediately after Democrats broke the House’s quorum Sunday night, progressive groups celebrated the victory — even though it may only be temporary.

“One of the ugliest anti-voter bills in the country died today in the 2021 Texas Legislature. Democratic lawmakers broke quorum in a courageous move that shows just how hard Texans are willing to fight to protect their constitutional right to vote,” said Sarah Labowitz, policy and advocacy director of the ACLU of Texas.

What was in the bill?

The measure would have made mail-in voting more difficult by requiring voters to supply more information, prohibiting local elections officials from sending out absentee ballot applications to anyone who has not requested one or from working with get-out-the-vote groups that are encouraging Texans to vote by mail.

It would have prohibited the after-hours and drive-through options that voting rights advocates said helped Black and Latino voters in the Houston area cast their ballots in the 2020 election.

It would have required all weekday early voting to take place between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. — prohibiting Houston from again offering a 24-hour early voting opportunity. And it would have barred early voting on Sundays before 1 p.m., which effectively limits the “souls to the polls” after-church get-out-the-vote efforts that are popular among Black churches.

SB 7 would also have made it easier to overturn an election, allowing courts to throw out results if enough ballots were cast illegally that it could have made a difference — rather than proving that fraud actually altered the outcome of a race.

The bill would also have imposed $1,000-a-day fines on local election officials who do not follow prescribed procedures to update their voter rolls, and criminal penalties on election workers who obstruct poll-watchers. Those partisan poll-watchers would have seen their power expanded, allowing them to be “near enough to see and hear” election activity. The bill did, however, mandate that the poll watchers take an oath promising not to harass or disrupt voters or the voting process.

Democrats’ rare move evoked memories of 2003, when the party’s Texas House members fled to Oklahoma to block the legislature from adopting new congressional district lines — preventing state troopers from dragging them back into the Capitol to vote.

President Joe Biden on Saturday afternoon condemned the Texas measure, calling it “wrong and un-American” and saying it is “part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans.”

National Politics / News / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Your Voice, Your Vote

CNN Newsource

Comments

83 Comments

      1. Soon on the moon maybe? Get real nitwit. You’re so delusional it’s not funny. The only way you Demoturds can win is cheat by mail.

      2. You are alberto huh, char lier? You are just as delusional as IT is. Good thing the GOV will deduct the demoKKKrats pay for not showing up for as long as they don’t show up. The bill will pass.

      1. Democrats outnumber what is left of Republicans by over 19.8%. No need to cheat. Just get everyone to the polls. Voter suppression is cheating.

          1. All mouth and no Proof. Typical QAnon conspiracy theorist running her mouth about things way over her head. CONTACT the nearest authorities and present your PROOF! Otherwise shut the fuck up with your Trump talking points.

          2. The proof is out there. It’s been presented. What is a Qanon anyway? I have no idea. I only rely on ACCURATE news sources.

        1. 19.8% Good laugh. Not in Texas. If that was true Texas would already be a blue state. Cheating is vote by mail with no ID or proof of who is voting. Ballot harvesting is cheating.

          1. Yeah the margin in Texas is less but there are still more registered democrats according to politico. They just won’t vote which has been cured by the election of a reprobate to the presidency. Trump got everyone going to the polls now. There are 1.4 Dems per Republican.

        2. how exactly is requiring id to vote cheating? are you one of those idiots that think minorities are too stupid to get an id? go ahead and answer that, i dare you

          1. I agree. There is nothing in this bill that will keep anyone from voting. Democrats are making too much of it and they are worried about the wrong thing. They should be rallying to get the filibuster done away with and the 147 Republican traitors in the House in prison.

  1. Read any History book going back to when The United States of America was officially recognized as a Country and you will see Voter Repression or Voter Denial aimed at Minorities, newly arrived Immigrants and the Disadvantaged populations. There is always a WASP interest group with evolving political affiliations that is afraid of losing political, cultural or economic power to those Minorities. In 2021 Jim Crow evolved into MAGA and the QAnon bunch where the two bit Tinhorn and Putin Wannabe called Trump has proclaimed that there was widespread Voter Fraud because…he lost the Election! The disenfranchised White voters who believed in the Great White Hope (Trump) to put Minorities back in their place was a Disaster, and they cannot believe their Orange Prophet was defeated and sent back to his Gilded Cage. Just another day in America. The struggle to keep Democracy alive will never end in spite of those who deny others because of their fear of self-extinction. Remember, E PLURIBUS UNUM!!!!!

    1. So you’re saying that minorities are too stupid ot to lazy to vote according to the rules that are going to protect EVERYONE’s vote? Typical leftist soft racism comment by a racist liberal clown.

      1. Did you say something, Granny?? Do us all a favor and go register yourself as a Full Blown White Supremacist offender! Don’t forget to put up a sign on your front lawn so you can warn others!

        1. you didnt answer his question, are you afraid to? i know you wont, because everything you have been saying up until now is a lie, and answering would spill all the beans. thats why no liberal will it publicly. pussy

          1. She won’t answer. She lives in her moms basement because she can’t handle the real world and she doesn’t understand facts.

          2. You go register, too! Authorities need to know your Racist ass whereabouts 24/7!

          3. you still didnt answer the question, are you afraid it will show just how racist it is?

      1. uxcrement can’t think for itself. It plagerizes just like senile Joe Crow biden does and has. It reads cnn = communist news network and runs with what they say typical communist racist fool.

  2. You trumpite scum have lost the argument. Sit down and shut up morons. Republicans are finished as a party and these dying gasps bills will not change that. You have Trump to thank for that. Keep hugging his nuts you idiots.

      1. Alberto talking to himself. Whats the matter Alberto feeling outnumbered? Dream up some more aliases. We’ll know its you.

    1. here’s a thought, why dont you answer the question, are minorities too stupid to obtain an id? cmon man, tell us. we all know what you want to say, but you dont have the balls. you morons backed yourself into a corner on this one. i bet you are too scared to answer. pussy

      1. I am so glad I retired from the Justice Department when I did. I had to put up with self-important asshats like turner and could never tell them what kind of leftist scum they were. And it is the mark turner’s of this country, who are constantly demanding incarceration for anyone who has a differing opinion of the, Wannabe Hitlers and Stalins.

  3. Thanks, Trump Zombies. Thank you for accusing me of Plagiarizing!! That’s actually a compliment on my ability to coherently call out the Racist Retrumpian White Supremacist agenda. Hope you enjoyed my random thoughts on the state of politics in 2021. Stand by for More!

      1. Get over yourself , granny! You and your ilk are on the losing end of a long ever ending fight for Democracy in America. And so far you are just pissing in the wind and telling everybody that it’s Raining!

          1. You have no love for America. You are a traitor hiding behind the flag. And to top it all off you are an admitted Trump supporter, the current outcasts of society.

          2. Look who’s talking. You libturds hate America. What have you done in your miserable life to serve this country? Military? Law Enforcement? Peace Corps? Obama Corps?

          1. Hey stupid!! America is basically a Republic, but is described as a Representative Democracy. It is neither a pure Republic or a pure Democracy. It is a Hybrid Democratic Republic as are most modern Nations. Quit your bitching over the Trump Election loss, and get with the program.

        1. He’s done nothing. In fact he’s spent most of his life living off of the government. We paid his room and board all those years he spend in prison. His idea of loving America is molesting it’s young girls and paying off our enemies.

          1. Your QAnon talking points are Boring, Granny. If you are not a Retrumpican, you Hate America, you are a Communist, you don’t turn in your Public Library books on time…blah,blah….blah. Spare us your love…not for America…but Trump the White Supremacist too stupid to win a Second term. Blah,blah,black, ad nauseam!!!

          2. I see you got your head up your rear end as usual. Only Democrats are Communists and hate America. You are a good example of that. Loser!

  4. You Trump White Supremacists can take a trip back in time when you could get away with anything when you watch the Tulsa Massacre on Cable TV tonight.

    1. Did you miss the part where it was the blacks that started it uxcrement? Black vets armed with guns marched down there instigating the whole matter. Only a few white idiots were there at first. Then the rest of the racist whites of Tulsa heard about it and led to that disgrace in history. Tell the story right. No different than the BLMers and antifa and your daddy white supremacist Joe Crow biden do. Same old backwards, swamp scum thinking. The demoKKKrats took advantage of that and convinced you that they would take care of you. Isn’t that just like being there slave?

      1. So they had it coming to them???? Got ya, son. Before Trump came along your heroes were probably those Idiots who always had an excuse to put down minorities any way they could and gave them what was coming to them. Your White Power inclinations are not so subtle, dude. Stop hiding behind the Phony Conservative, Love America or Leave it bullshit and just let your White Power Trump flag fly proudly.

        1. Hey nitwit I’m still looking for the Biden flags. I can’t find any. Obviously you never get out of El Paso County. You see all those Trump flags between Abilene and Ft Worth on I20. Wonderful. Your identity politics is making you look like an idiot and fool.

        2. Two sides on the wrong never comes out good uxcrement. Same thing happened to you when you were conceived by to opposite sides. No good thing came out. You and your probably, maybe, should, could bull shit of always. You couldn’t plagiarize your comment this time so all that comes out is caca.

    2. The White supremacists who originally supported Trump later turned on him because they realized he didn’t support their efforts. The democrat lies fail you once again.

  5. No, no, no! The Tulsa 1921 massacre of innocent black civilians won’t be on Fox News!!! The Porvenir Texas Massacre of Mex Americans in 1918 by Texas Rangers, U.S Soldiers, and local ranchers was just a pre game warm up for the Tulsa Massacre. State Sponsored terrorism against Minorities in its full glory then, but it has never gone away!

        1. You left out the Tejanos (Mexicans) that were slaughtered by General Santa Anna. Of course he lost the war. Cherry picking history to suit your narrative? Epic fail!

  6. The above retardicans wasting their time spewing caca instead of honoring THEIR heroes on a Memorial Day. Good job morons.

  7. Hey nitwit I was at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery today honoring my father and brother. You? I bet your father is buried in some pauper’s grave. Concordia? I bet you didn’t even leave your section 8 apartment today. All talk as usual. 24/7 internet troll.

    1. Your father is most likely rolling in his grave knowing that his son represents everything that he fought against in the war. So sad😣😣😣😣😣

      1. Nope. My father hated Democrats starting with Truman and LBJ. BTW – Unlike you he served this country. He hated Communists like you too.

          1. Alberto obviously your father hates you and your mother was a Juarez whore. She effed up too by not aborting you. Too bad he didn’t flush you down the toilet.

    2. Who cares where you were today idiot. Biden your president is a moron on Memorial Day. My father is alive and well pendejo.

      1. Yes. Biden your President is a moron. Glad you can finally admit that. Now you can begin your recovery. Maybe they can help you with your TDS as well.

  8. Biden not my president…be free to change your online handle to: I’ve got my head up Trumps ass so deep that my breath smells like Preparation H!!

          1. Says the lady who believes dead people elected Biden President! And that there was a nation wide conspiracy to defeat Trump. Tea for Two anyone?? Better check what’s in the tea first!

  9. Dumb ass Trumpies sucking on Trumps little weeny so it can grow some. You can suck all you want but your Loser ex president will never be satisfied. Mark my words.

  10. Mr. Biden will never be recognized by White Supremacists as their president. So…? we already know that! Tell us something we DON’T know.

        1. His V.P. Kameltoe Harris called Biden a racist during the Democratic Presidential Primary. You forget that nitwit? She even pissed off Jill.

  11. You know it’s getting late in the day when lady maga starts dribbling stuff that is dumber than usual even for her. Kiss Trumps butt goodnight and call it a day, granny. Tomorrow you can think of more insane garbage to write. Nighty night you Credulous little conspiracy believer.

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