Texas Freedom Network and Texas Rising Activists were at the state Capitol today to fight back against one of the worst voter suppression bills in the country. Check out our press release:
HOUSE MUST STOP EFFORT TO SUPPRESS THE VOTE IN TEXAS
SB9 Is Aimed at Making It Harder for Eligible Texans to Vote, Not Easier
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2019
AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network is condemning efforts to pass legislation that would turn back the clock on democracy in the Lone Star State by making it harder and confusing for eligible voters to cast ballots.
“SB9 isn’t aimed at just suppressing the vote of young Texans, especially first-time voters and people of color,” said TFN President Kathy Miller. “It also makes casting a ballot even harder for the most vulnerable Texans — the disabled, the elderly, people needing assistance getting to the polls.”
The Texas House Elections Committee today is considering SB9 by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola. The bill, which has already passed the Senate, creates new red tape for those who need assistance while voting. It also threatens with jail time and enormous fines potential voters who make honest mistakes on a registration form or in trying to cast a ballot. And it gives law enforcement expansive legal immunity from prosecution for committing election-related crimes, allowing law enforcement to conduct undercover sting operations against community organizations and disrupt the operation of polling places.
These measures will make it harder for organizations, like Texas Rising, to register and help new voters get to the polls. Texas Rising, sponsored by the Texas Freedom Network, mobilizes young, diverse, politically engaged Texans under the age of 30. With a presence on more than 20 college and university campuses, Texas Rising has registered tens of thousands of young eligible potential voters.
“The freedom to vote and have our voices heard is fundamental to our democracy,” said Ric Galvan, president of the Texas Rising chapter at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Legislature should be making it easier for eligible Texans to register and cast a ballot, not harder. But this bill looks to us like yet another effort by those in power to stay there by keeping new voters, especially young Texans of color, from going to the polls.”
Texas Freedom Network is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support social justice, religious freedom and individual liberties. Texas Rising, sponsored by TFN, brings together young, diverse, politically engaged Texans under 30 to build a grassroots movement through community organizing, electoral politics and public policy advocacy.