Democratic Texas congressman calls election integrity bill ‘explicitly discriminatory’ against minorities

As the legislative session drew to a close in Texas on Sunday, Democratic lawmakers staged a walkout in order to block the passage of an election integrity bill.

During an appearance Monday on MSNBC, congressional Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) cheered what his Democratic colleagues at the state level did to halt progress on what he claimed is an “explicitly discriminatory” bill, Breitbart reported.

“This is not normal”

“I think our democracy is at a tipping point,” Allred told the MSNBC host. “What you just talked about here is overturning elections, stopping certain Americans from voting. That’s how you lose your democracy.”

Ramping up the rhetoric, he continued: “We’re having a very sanitized conversation about this, pretending, so to speak, that this is Democrats and Republicans and the usual push and pull. This is not usual. This is not normal. Talking about being able to overturn elections because you want to have fraud allegations or stop specific groups from voting is totally outside the balance.”

“I’m really grateful and proud of Texas House Democrats for using whatever tools they have at their disposal to try to stop this bill from passing last night,” the Democratic congressman said. “That was the right thing to do, and obviously, the governor said he’s going to call a special session, and they’re going to come back and try to pass this bill.”

Unfounded claims

Allred then echoed the rather skewed and highly critical media interpretations of some of the provisions of the measure, Senate Bill 7, that essentially accused Texas Republicans of being racist and of specifically targeting minorities with increased restrictions on their ability to vote.

One provision he harped on was a change to early voting hours on Sundays, which would be limited to start after most church services had concluded, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Allred said, “That is so clearly aimed at ‘souls to the polls’ and stopping Black voters from going to church, one of the few institutions the Black community has had for so long, going to church and talking and going together to the polling place, which is a tradition in the black community.”

Except, nothing in the bill prevents Black voters from going to a church and then heading to the polls as a group afterward — in fact, it would make it easier for them to do so by delaying the start of early voting on Sundays until after services had finished.

“Explicitly discriminatory”

Allred also accused Republicans of attempting to intimidate Hispanic voters for whom English is a second language, and proclaimed, “This bill is so explicitly discriminatory that it’s embarrassing.”

“I was a voting rights lawyer when I came to Congress,” he added. “We often see these things as a little bit nebulous. It’s hard to say. This is not one of those bills. This is extremely explicit.”

As was alluded to by the congressman, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has called for a special legislative session and vowed to make sure that the election integrity bill blocked by the Democratic walkout will, in fact, be passed and signed into law as soon as possible, according to Breitbart.

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