The Texas State Senate passed S.B. 7 on Thursday to ensure voter integrity, a decision State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) says will make it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
After several hours of debate, Senate Bill 7 (Election Integrity) and Senate Bill 12 (Social Media Censorship) fully passed the Texas Senate early this morning. #txlege #SB12 #SB7 @Scott_SanfordTX @BriscoeCain pic.twitter.com/HdQPc2FBy7
— Senator Bryan Hughes (@SenBryanHughes) April 1, 2021
“At the end of the day, the Texas Senate passed a strong election integrity bill that we can be proud of,” Hughes said in the Twitter video. “It heads over to the House now for more work, and election integrity bills continue to move through the process.”
An early version of the bill addressed the topics of drive-thru early voting and voting by mail. The bill follows similar changes in voting laws made by Georgia in March.
Many Democrats have argued such changes are an effort to suppress votes, especially among communities of color. Texas State Sen. Borris Miles (D) said, “There are some things in here that are really offensive. This hurts to the core.”
Democrats have attacked Georgia’s voting rights bill, for example, as a new Jim Crow 2.0. President Joe Biden has even supported efforts to remove the Major League Baseball All-Star game from Georgia as a result of the legislation.
Republicans have viewed voter integrity changes as necessary following concerns during the 2020 election. In addition, the For the People Act (H.R. 1) has led conservative states like Texas to develop their own measures.
The Heritage Foundation has noted the bill would, “Seize the authority of states to regulate voter registration and the voting process by forcing states to implement early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, online voter registration, and no-fault absentee balloting.”
Voter rights will continue to remain a heated battle as the nation heads toward the midterm election in 2022. Both Republicans and Democrats will fight for any advantage as conservatives seek to retake power in the House and possibly the Senate to oppose Biden’s radical progressive agenda.