Republicans in the Texas state Senate passed a bill Sunday meant to significantly tighten election security in the Lone Star State — but in a surprise move later that day, state House Democrats staged a walkout to stop the measure from moving forward.
Texas Senate Bill 7 came under intense fire from Democrats who claimed the election reform measure would make it harder for Texans to cast their ballots.
Outnumbered in the state House, Dems ended up walking out of a vote on the legislation late Sunday, the Associated Press reported, “leaving Republicans with no choice but to abandon a midnight deadline and declare the legislative session essentially over.”
“You come here to work”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had been expected to sign the measure before it was summarily trampled on Sunday. Now, the governor has suggested he’ll call a special session in the state legislature to reconsider the bill and even threatened to withhold lawmakers’ pay if they fail to vote on it.
“No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” Abbott tweeted, according to The New York Times.
While the Times said the move was sudden, some Republicans in the state legislature suggested they’d heard Dems might take the nuclear option.
“There were whispers of it yesterday,” state Rep. Travis Clardy (R) said the morning after the walkout, according to the Times. “I really didn’t think they would. I didn’t think they needed to.”
Clardy also had harsh words for his colleagues who skipped out on the vote.
“You come here to work,” he told the Times. “You don’t come here to leave and not finish the job.”
The bottom line
If the election reform bill does eventually pass in a special session, Texas will join Florida and Georgia on the list of states that have made big changes to their voting systems in the wake of the chaotic 2020 race.
According to the AP, President Joe Biden has called the measure an “assault on democracy” — but when the federal government continues to fall short, it’s up to the states to step in and protect the integrity of America’s elections.
There could be no greater assault on democracy than election fraud. Why are Democrats so invested in ensuring the GOP can’t take steps to prevent it?