Texas’ Senate Bill 7 was heavily debated this last weekend and ended with Democrats walking out late Sunday night in order to stall the bill from being passed, thus not meeting the quorum needed to vote on the bill.

This bill is “relating to election integrity and security” and particularly focuses on “preventing fraud in the conduct of elections in this state; increasing criminal penalties; creating criminal offenses.” Texas – among other states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Iowa and others – already has extremely strict limits on voting access, and Senate Bill 7 would only expand on existing laws. Some of the bill’s provisions include a ban on drive-through and 24-hour voting, harsher punishments for election officials for failing to follow rules and a wider range of power for poll watchers.

After the walkout in the state House, many Texas Republicans spoke out condemning the action taken by House Democrats. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) even threatened to withhold pay for “those who abandon their responsibilities,” referring to the 62 representatives who left before the bill could be approved. Despite the failure of passing the bill, Republicans remain confident in their ability to pass it in the upcoming special session.

The victory for Texas Democrats may be fleeting, and they are calling on national Democrats for help. State Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Texas) pleaded with President Joe Biden. “I’m asking Joe Biden, you need to help Texas. We have done everything we can,” she said. There are currently two voting bills held up in Congress that Biden is pressuring senators to push through – the For The People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Beckley urged Democratic senators to “pass the voter bills” sooner rather than later, especially since 14 states have already enacted new voting laws that put serious restrictions on American voters.

A special session will be held to address the Senate Bill 7 where Republicans are likely to see their bill passed.

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