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And in their campaign, Republicans overcame objections from Democrats, constituencies and big corporations. Companies like American Airlines, Dell Technologies and Microsoft spoke out against Texan law shortly after the law was passed, but the pressure has so far been largely ineffective.
The final 67-page bill, known as SB 7, turned out to be the amalgamation of two bulk votes that had worked their way through state legislation. It contained many of the provisions originally put in place by the Republicans, but lawmakers dropped some of the strictest, such as an ordinance on the allocation of voting machines that would have closed polling stations in color communities, and a measure that would have allowed partisan election observers to record the voting process on video.
However, the bill contains a provision that could make it easier to overthrow an election. Previously, Texas electoral law had stipulated that reversing election results due to fraud allegations required evidence that illegal votes actually resulted in an illegitimate victory. If the bill is passed, the number of fraudulent votes required to do so should simply be equal to the difference in the winning votes. It wouldn’t matter who the fraudulent votes were cast for.
Democrats and constituencies were quick to condemn the bill.
“SB 7 is a ruthless law,” said Sarah Labowitz, director of politics and advocacy for the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas. “It is aimed at color voters and voters with disabilities in a state that is already the most difficult voting place in the country.”
But Republicans celebrated the proposed bill and resisted criticism from Mr Biden and others.
“As the White House and National Democrats work together to minimize electoral integrity, Texan lawmakers continue to fight for accessible and safe elections,” state Senator Bryan Hughes, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement.
He added, “In Texas, we do not bow to headlines, signaling corporate virtues, or suppressing electoral integrity, even if it comes from the President of the United States.”