The voting bill becomes law and an issue in future elections


Despite a walkout by members of the Democratic House and prolonged debate in recent months, the new voting bill was enacted by Gov. Greg Abbott in Tyler on Tuesday. Republicans say the new bill makes it “easy to vote and hard to cheat,” and if that were unchallenged, no Texan would oppose it.

But the reality is that the Republican-dominated legislature has targeted this bill on practices in counties with large Democratic voters, such as Harris County and its largest city, Houston. The new law bans 24-hour voting and drive-thru voting, two options Harris County just used in the last election. If this new law causes fewer Democrats to vote in the next election, few Republican lawmakers would be upset.

The bill even adds new identification requirements to postal voting, a change that could boomerang on Republicans. Many GOP voters are older and would prefer to vote by mail. Those who are over 65 or have a disability can still use this option, but many other voters would use this method if they could – and again, many of them would undoubtedly vote for them. republicans.

Ironically, a minor change in voting in Jefferson County reinforced the fact that despite these changes, voters have the final say on election day. The county had to eliminate a voting site – the New Light Church in Beaumont – when church officials said the building would no longer be available.

As Jefferson County Clerk Theresa Goodness pointed out, while the change is unfortunate, it shouldn’t really stop anyone from voting in this county.

“It doesn’t bother any of the voters because they can go anywhere,” Goodness said. “They don’t have to go to a certain place. They can go to any of the other 39 locations.

This is an important fact to keep in mind during the next election. No matter what changes this new law brings, the voters still hold the power in our democracy. They can still register to vote, vote early (often at multiple locations in their riding), and vote on polling day. Some of them can even vote by post. All of this may not be as practical as it should be because of this law, but it is still very doable.

All Texans who are eligible to vote must make sure they vote in the next election, and everyone after. They should give their opinion on this new law and other issues, either in favor of the Democrats who protested it or the Republicans who promoted it. In turn, these votes will be reflected in the makeup of the next legislature and the laws it produces.

This change is state law for now, but voters in Texas will ultimately decide if it remains so.


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