Texas House Committee Advances Sweeping Voter Suppression Bill Targeting Texans of Color

by Dan Quinn

It’s becoming clearer that too many legislators are determined to see Jim Crow ride again in Texas. Today the House Elections Committee advanced a sweeping voter suppression bill targeting Texans of color. Check out our press release.

Texas House Committee Approval of HB6 Follows Senate Passage of Similar Suppression Bill a Week Ago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2021

Thumbing its nose at voting rights advocates and disregarding a building backlash from business leaders increasingly concerned about efforts to undermine the foundations of democracy in Texas, the Republican-dominated Texas House Elections Committee today rammed through approval of a sweeping voter suppression bill that would make it harder for Texans — especially Texans of color — to cast a ballot in future elections.

“It’s clear that too many legislators are determined to see Jim Crow ride again in Texas,” Texas Freedom Network President Val Benavidez said. “Instead of more laws that make voting harder, Texas needs reforms that make voting simple, convenient and fair for everyone. Legislators should be removing barriers so that all Texans can cast a ballot no matter where they live, the color of their skin or how much money they make.”

Following committee approval, HB6 by state Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, now must be approved by the full House. The Republican-dominated Senate has already passed its own voter suppression bill, SB7. Together the bills would impose a slew of restrictions that would make voting harder especially in large, densely populated counties where many Texans of color live. The bills would bar many measures local leaders also promoted to make voting safe and secure during the pandemic, including curbside and drive-thru voting, mobile voting locations and 24-hour voting centers.

“These bans are designed to make voting lines longer, shut people out and keep turnout low,” said Rae Martinez, senior director of Texas Rising Action, TFN’s youth-organizing program. “Voting rights advocates, including young people from all over the state, came to the Capitol twice in the middle of a pandemic to voice their opposition to this bill and its effects on voting. We’re not giving up on our efforts to protect democracy and ensure that every eligible Texan has equal access to the ballot.”

Efforts to pass this legislation come after voter turnout surged in 2018 and 2020. A Texas Freedom Network/Texas Rising Action analysis last month showed the state’s electorate is becoming younger and more ethnically and racially diverse as general elections also become more competitive.

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The Texas Freedom Network (tfn.org) is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice. Learn more about TFN’s Texas Rising Action program at txrising.org.

Comments

Texas Civil Rights Project

The supporters of #HB6 and #SB7 challenged people to “read the bills and point to voter suppression.” Today, 63 civil rights orgs have gladly accepted that challenge & are releasing two joint statements outlining some of the sections that would harm voters the most #txlege pic.twitter.com/qvox…