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The proposed bill, which the Texas House passed earlier this month, would restrict voting on Sunday, when many black worshipers are voting, restricting drive-through voting in bars and 24-hour voting venues and, among other things, to provide more access for partisan election observers. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to pass the bill, and Republican Governor Greg Abbott has announced that he will sign it.
The steps come after Harris County, home of Houston and a slew of Democratic voters, added drive-thru polls and 24-hour polling stations in 2020 for a record-breaking election in a state that has become more democratic in recent years .
Biden has harshly criticized Republican “electoral integrity” legislation, particularly the new Georgia electoral law he called “Jim Crow” of the 21st century. In his statement on Saturday, Biden called on Congress to take action on the For the People Act, which the House of Representatives passed and would reform access to ballot papers and campaign finance. It would also require states to have two weeks early voting, among other things. Legislators in the Senate are faced with long opportunities given the determined opposition of the GOP.
Biden also called on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would reinstate the supreme court-repealed voting rights protections.
“In the 21st century, we should make it easier and not harder for every eligible voter to vote,” said Biden in his statement on Saturday. “I continue to call on all Americans of every party and belief to stand up for our democracy and to protect the right to vote and the integrity of our elections.”
Abbott has touted the law, saying it will “make it easier to vote and harder to cheat”.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) slammed Biden’s statement on Saturday.
“Like his ‘Neanderthal thinking’ comment on masking protocols, President Biden is wrong, openly partisan and increasingly out of touch with reality,” Cornyn tweeted.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) previously praised the legislation, saying it would make elections “more accessible and safer”.
Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic Election attorney, said in a tweet on Saturday that “Texas will be sued” if the law goes into effect.
Before the Texas legislature passed the House of Representatives, it came under attack by a group of dozen of companies and organizations, including Microsoft and Texas-based American Airlines.
“We stand together as a bipartisan coalition calling on all elected leaders in Texas to support reforms that make democracy more accessible and to oppose any changes that would limit the electorate’s access to voting,” the companies wrote in one open letter.
Georgia also received a major setback over its new law, with MLB is moving in its all-star game from Atlanta and major Atlanta-based corporations including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola who criticize the legislation.